Wow, Owls!
Pick Your Patterns


4.5
superb

Review

by Mort. USER (12 Reviews)
March 17th, 2015 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Wow, Owls! were a short lived emo/post hardcore band from Richmond, Virginia. With a discography only spanning one LP, a few splits and a small compilation, they’re an easy band to skim over as one could dismiss them as part of the plethora of mediocre, middle road hardcore knock offs. But Wow, Owls! display an interesting mix of indie/garage rock, emo and hardcore on their one and only LP "Pick Your Patterns" that warrants more attention than they ever got. The vocals are raw, throat-tearing screams that often switch into simple shouted vocals, backed up with gang vocals for fun anthem moments, chanting “we will dance like everyone’s watching” that feel more catchy and carefree than anything. Which is where I think Wow, Owls! mainly exceed, as they sensibly fill their sound with bouncy guitar rhythms, bass-lines and shouts that lean more towards fun indie rock than hardcore. The vocals rarely leave their comfort zone, never moving into that cringe inducing, strained, and choking on tears sound many vocalists attempt in a bid to sound troubled. Emo influences mainly come through in the lyric , as lamentations such as “I’m a monster inside” are screamed out and strewn across emotional build-ups and frenetic hardcore riffs.

However, Wow, Owls! sound much more content and resigned in whatever sadness they feel than other emo bands, as often songs tread the middle ground of hardcore/emo utilizing staccato riffs, mathy guitars (thankfully non excessive) gang vocals and meandering bass lines to create a slower paced contemplative atmosphere. Melodic guitar parts that are somewhat reminiscent of Hot Cross, often lay the grounds for build-ups into fuzzy garage rock-esque choruses, carried along with competent punk drumming. Pick Your Pattern's only fault comes in its compositional approach. There is a lack of diversity in song writing here that leaves a bit to be desired, as only 2 songs fall over the 4 minute mark, and there is little deviation from the style that is established within the first few tracks. But what Wow, Owls! do, they do well, leaving Pick Your Patterns a concise and consistent unassuming record that matches the best parts of hardcore and emo.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
March 17th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

didnt think its would look like that woops, should probs break it into paragraphs



also how the fuck do you use italics?



and feedback would be appreciated

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JohnnyOnTheSpot
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2015


3180 Comments


[ i ] words you want italicized [ / i ] (without the spaces)
ayyy

- - - - -
"that shows them to be a band that had something at least a little bit unique"
- lines like this are pretty wordy. try making your point a bit more concisely and it will be nicer to read

"throat tearing"
- i think expressions like this should be hyphenated

- i think you focus on the vocals a bit much, and seeing as you describe them so much in the first para, i don't see the need to repeat yourself in the second. idk, I guess take a step back and ask if you repeat any of your descriptions, and if you could organize your paragraphs accordingly. if this ends up cutting down your word count, then no worries - it's better to have a brief 250-word review that says a lot within its word count than a 750-word review that repeats itself

"There is a lack of diversity in song writing here that leaves a bit to be desired, as only 2 songs fall over the 4 minute mark"
- i'm not sure how the song length thing is what comes to mind first when complaining about the song diversity. the "there is little deviation from the style that is established within the first few tracks" thing matches this, but idk, I've listened to plenty of diverse albums with sub-4-minute songs, so idk what you're trying to say with that specific point. you might be on to something, but try and elaborate. for example, you might mean "there is a lack of diversity in the album's wealth of sub-four-minute tracks, rarely deviating from the game plan established from Pick Your Path's kickoff." (kinda lame example, but w/e, I said the same thing with less words)

(edited for feedback)

Mort.
March 17th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ayyyy thanks bro



you always give good feedback, would appreciate any you give

Artuma
March 17th 2015


18868 Comments


nice write-up. i need to check this

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Mort.
March 17th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks art, and thanks for the feedback Johnny

YakNips
March 17th 2015


15469 Comments


sweet rev
these guys aren't my cup of tea

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Mort.
March 17th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks yak, and fair enough





deyp
March 17th 2015


106 Comments


Nice review. Just looked up a couple of tracks and I think you captured what they sounded like really well, good description.

Mort.
March 17th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man



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