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Brass Owl - State of Mind Award winner

Brass Owl
State of Mind
by Neil Cook at 09 March 2020, 9:01 PM

Do you like, CLUTCH, GOV'T MULE, ZZ TOP (early stuff), QOTSA? Do you like funky, trippy, heavy, heavy Blues?  Remember the jam bands or the 60’s and 70’s? Can appreciate a bit of Jazz of the acid type?  Then you are going to love BRASS OWL.  This three piece form Cincinnati, Ohio are as tight as gnats chuff, as loose as a long legged goose and an as heavy as a two-ton heavy thing.  They will appeal to stoners, rockers, funksters and jazz-heads equally.

All the songs on this album get the same high accolades from this listener.  From the heavy blues riffage of “Land Sharks,” the bass heavy stoner sound of “Deuce Face," the jazz, funky strut of “Hook, Line & Sinker," to which you cannot help yourself, you will groove along to this, prepare yourself for funny looks as you get on down to this one, playing through your cans on the subway.

No filter, Stay Trendy” oozes cool with its CLUTCH-like vibe, which suddenly mutates into a blues stomp, and then morphs into a jazz drum solo which fades into “Side Effect” a la BLACK SABBATH meets Billy Gibbons in a smoky, skuzzy Blues-Jazz club to share a smoke and glass of Jack.

The Legend Of FUJIMO” feels like a jammed instrumental, designed to show off the bands chops.  Showcasing Brian Tarter’s ability to shred with the best (which he has done, performing with STEVE VAI, after winning a shredding contest in the 90s).  It works exceedingly well, and never turns into a over-indulgent widdle-fest, and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

Jive Turkey” is more of the same, a heavy dose of the dirtiest, fuzzy Blues with a real Jazz feel. Wailing guitars matched by pounding drums, thumping bass and bluesy vocals.

Slam the breaks on for a little mellow folky Americana of “Hoka Hey” a musical interlude to cleanse the palette, which leads into the last track “Pale Horse”.  A grandiose brooding song, which takes you off to drift across the plains of the wild west, dust biting at your face, hot desert wind stinging your eyes.

There isn’t much more to say. This is the sound of a very accomplished trio of musicians, who can riff off each other with ease.   Much of these songs are born from 3 dudes jamming, the songs are never self-indulgent, there is space where it’s needed, which can only come form players who have trust and understanding in their brothers abilities. Only criticism, wish it wasn’t a double album!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10
Overall: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Land Shark
2. Deuce Face
3. Hook, Line & sinker
4. No Filter, Stay Trendy
5. Side Effect
6. The Legend Of FUJIMO
7. Jive Turkey
8. Hoka Hey
9. Pale Horse
Brian Tarter – Vocals/Guitar
Brent Olds – Bass
Lonnie Buckley – Drums
Record Label: Honk E Fonk Records


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