The music of Brooklyn quintet Weird Owl brings to mind several influences and touchstones that helped create their psychedelic sound. However, the most prominent characteristic of Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed , released last week on Tee Pee Records, is that the album feels like a series of mystical quests that stretch across space, time, and subject matter. The challenge faced herein is trying to tie together these rambling journeys into one palatable package.
The music here is a tad gentler than your average modern psychedelic band. Citing Crazy Horse as a reference, there is a subtle country/folk hue to some of the tunes that allows the music to have some American highway grit to go along with the omnipresent interstellar highway grit. There is plenty of guitar to sink your teeth into, but the players tend to avoid the heavy riffing you might expect. The keyboard parts range from pointed rhythm to hazy atmospherics, including some hearty organ playing, and the rhythm section offers a solid underpinning to the spacey leanings elsewhere.
The lead vocals of Trevor Tyrrell paint him as the captain of a mixed-up spaceship, yearning for great adventures into the past and future simultaneously. I am told that the themes of the songs include “past-life relapses involving the Battle of Little Bighorn” and “the Atlantean seascape of the subconscious mind,” so there is some heavy stuff going on here. These types of lyrical aims tend to make it easy to distinguish otherwise similar songs, as the Little Bighorn mission makes the country-tinged rock of “13 Arrows, 13 Stars” considerably different than the folksy “Skeletelepathic,” though I suppose the tale of his powerful bones is just more subdued. The lyrics can give the listener a great deal to digest, and more details of these tales come with repeated listens.
Your enjoyment of Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed likely depends on your imagination and your interest in Weird Owl’s perspective on visionary experiences. The album functions well as a solid psychedelic rock album, but joining Tyrrell and crew on their journeys into the ether requires some commitment and some suspension of reality.