JUNE '71 - Black Owls
Somebody recommended several weeks back that I check out Black Owls, a band from Ohio, describing the music as a mixture of psychedelic blues and glam-punk. Good call.
The band's second album shows off a sense of classic, take-no-prisoners rock 'n' roll, with an undercurrent of just enough artsy pretention. The rambling poetry and insouciance with which David Butler—who also plays drums—attacks his vocals recall Ian Hunter, and the band kicks it into overdrive like Mott the Hoople jamming with The Faces, but with the threat of the English punk-rock movement breathing down their necks.
In comparison to the relative innocence of 1960s psychedelia on the group's debut album, Lightning Made Us Who We Are, this one is darker and a little more confrontational. With the spirits of Iggy, Morrison, Bowie and early Alice Cooper hanging over it, the album feels genuine and a little stoned, as if it's observing a culture in which Woodstock is long over, and Altamont has left the music world with a sour taste in its mouth.
June '71 still has shambling acoustic guitars, but they are subordinated to motorcycle-roar electric guitar by Ed Shuttleworth and occasionally the warm charm of Mellotron, as Butler pounds on the drums convincingly. Decadent and ramshackle and glorious, it kinda makes me cry.
Gene Armstrong - Tucson Weekly Feb 2011
PAINT IT BLACK
Fancy all the black-listed (wink) retro-fusion blues punk bands from North America? BLack Keys, Black Mountain, Black Owls. And they all so perfectly dialed in to the vintage Supro rock sound. Here in the UK it resounds. It reflects upon the 60's London blues movement that spawned the Rolling Stones and countless minion. Two of the bands are from Ohio nonetheless. Admittedly I didn't even know where Ohio was until I did a little digging. And I dig it. Indeed.
Delve further: Everlasting Light on Brothers by Black Keys, Stormy Mountain on In the Future by Black Mountain, Stone on June '71 by Black Owls (Upon further inspection I find that both Black Keys Brothers and Black Owls June '71 were mastered by the same bloke in Ohio too. Something in the water then.)
Analog Ink - Manchester UK - Terel Smith
I've given a listen to this June '71 by Black Owls and admittedly I fucking get it. Not only do I fucking get it, but I want to roll in it like a dog masking scent. It's as rock and roll as it gets. It hides the stench of the wider offerings of indy rock manifest. Here's to the balls nasty. Here's to the Owls. Glorious in Black is my new anthem. - Darrick Thomin, WicksBeat Mag
The internet sea is awash of self-produced Americana rock. The Black Owls steer the schooner across the giant waves of mediocrity. The boat carries a handful of killer deckhands. At least that's what I imagine. I could be confusing them with a Somali pirate brigade, but they carry illicit anti aircraft artillery in the form of heavy guitar. At the very least, they are here to board the cruise liner and loot the mundane. I like these guys. And I've never met the bastards. - Brett, LA Sound
This is "put your back into it" song craft. These guys lay it out. Lyrics, structure, power. It's almost a lost art, but thank God there are dudes like the Black Owls preserving the national trust of rock. Check out June '71 on their own Amish Girl label on itunes or bandcamp. - Compare/Contrast: Rolling Stones, Guided by Voices, Mott the Hoople, Bowie, Jim Carroll Band - Warren Epstein, Dresdon Press Music
It's no retro trip, it's a philosophy about how rock should be made. About lyrics, about sound, about giving a shit. Just put in June '71 and crank it loud. If you don't remember the '70's you'll get the idea. If you do remember the '70's you'll take another toke and revel in it. This is an album, not a collection of filler and hits. Every song sticks to the ribs. - Jonah, Free Press LTD
Dark and effervescent sophomore release from Ohio USA based Black Owls. Harrowing and infectiously hook-laden songcraft that put them in league with noted Ohioana Black Keys, Heartless Bastards, and Guided By Voices. Influences on their sleeves, bleeding immediacy and passion, Black Owls deliver a proper rock record to get you dusting off your Mott the Hoople, Bowie, Grand Funk, Guess Who, Iggy, Alice, Clash, Television, Jim Carroll, Neil Young, and Zepplin. Against the indy zeitgeist of choir vocals and shimmery haze, this album oozes guts and glamour. Take special note: Magic Lantern, Stone, Her Normal Courtesy. Seek them out. One of our 10 best of 2010. - Matter Sounds UK
This central Ohio three-piece (vocalist/drummer Dave Butler, guitarist Ed Shuttleworth and bassist Alan Beavers) pimps the kind of stripped-down Classic Rock (think more T Rex than AC/DC) that’s been the soundtrack to beer-swilling pub dwellers for more than four decades now. Butler’s high-pitched delivery comes through loud and clear, giving voice to simple, dark-hued stories laced with the occasional head-sticking nugget, such as “When I’m cremated you’ll smoke my ashes.”
Dig it: The Who, The Rolling Stones cut with Midwestern menace, Guided by Voices. JG- CityBeat, Cincinnati
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