I am amazed at the number of experimental bands whose albums I receive. The Owl Watches, the name Phil McKenna records under, hail from Atlanta. Ghost Of A Train is a collection of eight tracks that are heavy on mood and low on melody. The piano lines of "Ghost Of A Train" which quickly get over taken by haunting synth lines, are about the only real melody you will find. Guitar is used to punctuate the music, where as the bass simply keeps the music flowing. The drumming by Jim Dunn and Eric Anguiar actually make "Dust Remembers" and "Ghost Of A Train" the highlights of this CD.
McKenna plays all the guitars, bass, and keyboards (except for the fake flutes on "Mysterious Old Roadhouse). His playing is based on long and drawn out phrases that set the soundscape for each song. Songs like "Distant Wolves And A Brakeman Song" just go on too long. When dealing with mood and attitude, less tends to be more. There is no way that "Requiem For An Engineer" should be 7 minutes long.
Overall, I understand the attempt and applaud the effort, but The Owl Watches' music is just not concise enough to keep my attention. A nice album, but one that needs better focus.
1. Coal And Dust Prelude
2. Ghost Of A Train
3. Distant Wolves And A Brakeman's Song
4. The Mysterious Old Roundhouse
5. Dust Remembers
6. In Three Days
7. Requiem For An Engineer
8. Waiting For The Last Express