Read the record's title and you'll accurately guess a lot about Guaranteed
To Be 100% Free Of Hit Singles.
Read the song titles - and you'll accurately guess - again - that the theme
of the record is "...my instrumental poke in the eye at the record industry and
all its attendant idiocy and folly". And the project's lead artist Phil McKenna
adds that "This album is dedicated to the memory of Ahmet Ertegun and Tom Dowd".
CD-Baby describes it as "Instrumental avant / progressive rock with a biting
sense of humor and a bit of mystery." Good description. We'd add that The Owl
Watches's latest all-instrumental record is spacey, quirky, and ironic and
cynically humorous. It is experimental art-rock with a nudge at the avant garde
genre and a wink at fusion. Most of the tracks have elements of minimalism,
where the space and the dynamics are more important than the notes that define
them, and in that sense you might find some sections vaguely reminiscent of
Island-era Jade Warrior.
Many songs feature a soft but insistent bass that is prevalent and drives the
music. Listen for the Mellotrons, the adept lead guitar work, and the classical
guitars. Read the track titles and follow the mood of each track to absorb the
message. Tracks like "Sign With Disappearing Ink" and "And Your Point Is--(for
Miles Davis)" are pure minimalism. "Did They Even Sing" has a voice insert
that's quite funny, and sharply in keeping with the album's theme.
"WARDROBE!!!!" (yes, that's a song title) features spacey keys over soft guitar
and restrained drums and bass, and recalls Bo Hansson's Lord Of The Rings
music circa the mid-70s. And like all of The Owl Watches CDs, listen for the owl
hoots in "A Brew For Elliot Spitzer and The Minutemen". Google that song's title
and read McKenna's blog, and
you'll soon understand develop some of the anti-establishmentarian philosophies
drive his humor, his music, and his very understandable disappointment with the
established music industry.
Another McKenna quote: "Hopefully you the listener will find moments here
that will make you laugh, cry, watch Batman reruns and call out for Chinese
food." See? That's the humor that is at the base of the music.
So go to CD-Baby and shell out $10. It's Guaranteed To Be 100% Free Of Hit
Singles, and it will be like signing an anti-record-industry petition.
1. The Lawyers Made Us Do This----
2. Did They Even Sing?
3. Sign With Disappearing Ink
4. It Takes a Village to Raise An Idiot
5. Hydrogen and Stupidity
6. A Brew for Elliot Spitzer and the Minutemen
7. And Your Point Is--? (For Miles Davis)
8. Don't Do the Mime If You Can't Do the Time
10.Just What Did My Royalties Pay For?