I actually wrote this a while back for Endearingly Ramshackle but decided it should be on my page as well and given the fact it will be re-released soon, even though only released recently – it’s a long complex story! – we all deserve a refresher in one of my favourite bands.
It could be said that given that Bart has been a part of The Kays Lavelle set up and a good friend of mine for some time that this review is touched with a great deal of bias. So before I even start on the review, I want to set the record straight.
Before I knew Bart I went to see Eagleowl at the Wee Red Bar with Kays bass player Jake. After the gig I drunkenly cornered Bart to tell him that Eagleowl were my new favourite band and that they were “fucking amazing” or something along these lines. I’m sure Bart remembers this well – or perhaps tries to forget! Only Meursault have suffered a similar drunken rambling – something along the lines of “you’re my second favourite band behind eagleowl” if I recall.
Anyways, nothing has changed since that fateful night. Apart from being one of the most talented musicians I know, Mr. B. Owl has the knack of writing some brilliant, brilliant tunes and on For The Thoughts You Never Had he takes this to a new level. And now his band mates are chipping in with their own little gems too. I used to tell Bart he needed drums and that his vocal needed to be more prominent – I think he may have taken onboard my second comment – perhaps not deliberately – but the first one he has completely ignored and by God was he right too. This band don’t need drums and they never will. They don’t need anything other than the three perfectly matched voices, the wonderful use of a wide array of string instruments and the great tunes that they consistently produce.
I am in awe of their togetherness as a band and if this EP is not heard by people far and wide then it’s a crime. Buy this EP, if for nothing else the sheer brilliance that is the title track “For The Thoughts You Never Had” which is undoubtedly the best song I’ve heard for a long time. ”Blanket” is another brilliant folk song where Bart and Clarissa’s vocals combine beautifully. And let’s not forget Malcolm who has not only contributed a tune to this EP but whose fantastic violin playing perfectly compliments the dirty guitar and lush double bass that makes eagleowl, eagleowl. This is just brilliant. If I didn’t already love these guys this would win me over every time.
I’d like to add that I think Motherfucker is a genius piece of pop magic but don’t be sucked in by it because the real beauty of this band lie elsewhere. They have matured their sound and the warnth to the ep is in stark contrast to the early recordings I’d heard. It’s like Bart found his heart and now he wants to share it with us all and the world is a better place for it too.