Barn Owl | Ancestral Star

Thrill Jockey (2010)
By LUKE O'NEIL  |  November 2, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


A quick heads-up to the folks at the Nature Channel or anyone working on one of those films about the formation of the Earth: this third LP from San Francisco instrumental duo Barn Owl has the type of glacially churning geological-genesis drone rock you're looking for in a soundtrack. And not just because the 10 songs here have titles that seem like Post-it Notes on God's refrigerator. Opening suite "Sundown" and "Visions in Dust" move from slow-boiling power ambiance to tectonic heaves of feedback drone. For such an all-encompassing panorama, it's surprisingly minimal. The riffs may scatter in waves to either pole on the horizon, but the mossy pace and restrained drumming bring everything back from the doom-slayer instrumental metal edge this record could have tottered over in a lesser incarnation. The title track twinkles and glows, sending off sound waves that move so slowly, they might as well be transmissions from light years away; eventually, the smooth plane of stellar noise devolves into a storm of buzzing chaos. It's an atmosphere-setting collection, with little in the way of memorable riffs or melodies. But that's the point: Earth has needed to slow its roll for a minute now. Here's the inspiration.

BARN OWL + MV & EE + THE BODY + HIGH AURA'D | P.A.'s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville | November 16 at 8:30 pm | 21+ | $8 | 617.776.1557 or

Related: Sound advice: Girl Howdy, Girls Rock!, and more, The Vandelles ride a different kind of wave, Jen Johnson finds her ground with Velah, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , pa's lounge, Barn Owl, Barn Owl
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: LUKE ONEIL