Music, Print, Reviews May 12, 2020

Album Review: I Am The Owl – I Can’t See

by Michael Olivier

Context is key in watching a band grow. Each release carries unique inspiration, but music listeners tend to ignore the longer story told between recording sessions. I Can’t See (out May 8) is an evolution for I Am The Owl: evidence of a hardworking band capitalizing on the kernel of magic they’ve held onto through every practice, demo and live show for years on-end in order to see it to its full potential.

With I Can’t See, I Am the Owl’s sound is heavier, tighter, and more fleshed-out than ever. Engineers Andrew Berlin and Jason Livermore return, bringing with them the punch and polish their mighty Blasting Room studio is known for. This time around though, the band’s no-nonsense shredding with a twist of experimentation has flourished into a galloping monster of thought-out riffs and rhythms that will have Every Time I Die fans grinning from ear to ear.

I Am The Owl guitarists Josh Rivera (left) and Josh Harrelson

Guitarists Josh Rivera and Josh Harrelson deliver searing performances for the entirety, from familiar and catchy to heavy and dissonant. Basically these two are why I Can’t See sounds like the four horsemen riding into the apocalypse. New drummer Jordan Pasquin brings a weighty and aggressive backbone, and listeners will fixate on the bass performance of Kyle Krueckeberg. It glues the monster songs of I Can’t See together with a standout driving groove and melodic synergy that is downright sexy on the bridge of “Weight” or the solo section of “Stranger Danger,” which features equally delicious lead guitar by guest Reed Perry.

Bassist Kyle Krueckeberg (left) and I Am The Owl’s new drummer Jordan Pasquin

When a local band comes into their own in such a way, it deserves to be heard and supported. So – buy this EP if you can. The catharsis of heavy music has a way of bringing us together through times of struggle. Enjoy the release I Can’t See brings until this time of social distancing has passed, when we can go see I Am The Owl shred these bangers for us live.