Since their early high school days in 1989, the members of the Owls -- Tim Kinsella, Mike Kinsella, Victor Villarreal, and Sam Zurick -- have been playing together in some form or another. They had their greatest success as Cap'n Jazz, a screamy emo/hardcore act that also included the Promise Ring's Davey Von Bohlen during its later days. The group's youthful exuberance was intense, but things ran their course and they disbanded in 1994.
By 1998, the band's entire catalog was reissued by indie hitmakers Jade Tree Records, but the band was long gone and new projects had taken over their lives. Nonetheless, a new generation was given the chance to hear their influential music, and the members were given more attention than ever before singer Tim Kinsella, the most outspoken and prolific of the bunch, came into his own as the head of the constantly evolving and confusing outfit Joan of Arc, who spent the latter part of the 1990s releasing a slew of challenging LPs containing everything from exploratory pop to avant-garde computer composition. Mike Kinsella and Zurick also took part in different phases of Joan of Arc while Kinsella also performed in American Football. In later years, Zurick and Villarreal also performed together in Ghosts and Vodka.
Fast forward to 2001, a time when the elusive Joan of Arc has recently broken up, and all four musicians realize a desire to strip things back to their roots. With a new mission and a new sound, Owls sees the original quartet back together with a uniquely matured outlook and sound. Eschewing contemporary techniques and heading into the studio with noted producer Steve Albini, the band's debut album is a dose of visionary rock & roll, complete with jittery guitar arpeggios, straightforward production, and of course, Kinsella's usual barrage of baffling lyrics. Owls are far from the band they once were, but they've moved on together, and what they have started to create is powerful enough to one day eclipse their notable pasts. ~ Peter J. D'Angelo, Rovi