Thus: Owls - Cardiac Malformations

I could keep rabbiting on about how good this LP is, but I’m going to simply recommend that you listen to it without delay.

http://www.thusowls.com  http://www.konkurrent.nl  www.almost-musique.com

What band calls themselves Thus: Owls? I mean... And then as if to compound this, a band calling themselves Thus: Owls calls their LP Cardiac Malformations. This reviewer’s temperature rose further when the sleeve notes revealed that the band used trumpets, flutes, trombones and flugelhorns during the record’s making. As you can guess, it’s lucky I’m writing about it.

Cosmic indignation aside, this is a very, very fine record, based mostly around the drama that vocalist Erika Alexandersson can conjour up, seemingly at the drop of a hat. She has her diva moments that’s for sure: we learn on Climbing the fjelds of Norway that she likes running round Norwegian fields and meadows (a joy that I have actually experienced, so I can forgive her breathless incantations on this subject). And song titles like A Volcano In My Chest (a workout, incidentally, that starts of sounding like Soup by Can before becoming a piano-led stomp) is either cosmic diva stuff of the highest order or an unfortunate use of English.

Now, I did say that I got hot under the collar about bands using trombones and flugelhorns earlier. Well; to be fair, the diverse instruments actually create a supple sonic backdrop, allowing the vocals a lot more space to roam. The beautiful Sun Is Burning Our Skin is a great case in point with the softness of the strings adding a beautiful counterpoint to Alexandersson’s rich and plaintive musings. When She Arrived also boasts a brilliant build up halfway through the song; with the brass and percussion sections creating the feeling of storm tossed seas. It’s truly thrilling stuff. Luckily we get some rocking sounds on Let Your Blood Run, but again they are beautifully balanced with a softer percussive element that really gives depth to the track. The last track, The Atlantic is a brilliant slowie too, very basic with a ridiculously good “ghostly” backing vocal part. 

I could keep rabbiting on about how good this LP is, but I’m going to simply recommend that you listen to it without delay.