Barn Owl: Lost In The Glare (Thrill Jockey)
This newest collaboration between Barn Owl fulltimers Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras decidedly more immediate, more visceral and darker affair than their last Thrill Jockey release, Ancestral Star. At times the sound of a bona fide band comes through loud and clear, like on the plodding 2nd track “Turiya.” But elsewhere the duo continues its penchant for drones, turning up the darkness on the aptly titled “The Darkest Night Since 1683,” a dense, fuzzy blast of deep guitar drones and feedback that pits the physical aggression of SunnO)))) against Barn Owl’s usual more mannered (but no less dark) sensibility. Indeed, this is intense stuff, practically funereal, but moving no less. Many of the pieces are cyclical and pattern-based, focused on repeating patterns of delicate guitar work, some tracks more active than others. But considering the album is 41 minutes long, it’s impressive and expansive. It feels more epic than it is, taking something out of me every time I listen. Why it’s struck such a nerve with me, I’m not sure… maybe it’s the seasons changing, the shorter days, the cooler weather, the grey skies – but for whatever the reason, it’s a morose experience from start to finish, quite powerfully so. It’s perhaps the most dreary post-rock music I’ve heard since Swans originally disintegrated in the late 90s.