The Knight Owls’ debut album, Who Gives A Hoot, starts off with an instrumental piece titled “Aquarian,” which features repeating guitar and a sharp harmonica portion in it. “Monday Night” has a feel good motif behind the funky bass and guitar. Contrasting that, “Mourning Drone,” an entirely spoken word song, has a dark, dream-like feel to it. The listener learns something about John Check in “Hit The Bricks;” he’s not afraid to sing about what he wants and that is to doing the dirty. Bringing a modern flair to the album, “Can’t Stop Thinking How You Are” is versatile. But it left me with an obsessed stalker vibe, which works with the song that follows “Scarlet.” It starts with a slick bass line and guitar riff and explores the devotion and love for another. Check’s tone of voice and the attitude he put behind the lyrics in “The Loner” is what sold that track to me.

“Candlestick” and “Option 3” features guitarist Matt Check on lead vocals. “Candlestick” has an alternative country sound to it with droning vocals. “Option 3” is sentimental and sweet, but it’s too sweet for its own good. John Check returns on vocals in “Paradise,” which was disappointing. The feeling was there in Check’s voice, but his performance couldn’t keep up with the passion. Oddly enough, the winners of Who Gives A Hoot are the final three songs, “Break Of Day,” “The Rain” and “Gemini.” Each one redeems some of the iffy tracks, and gives the album the sparkle it needed. The buildup of suspense in each song and the melodies are simply wonderful.

As a debut album, Who Gives A Hoot was okay, but there is plenty of room for this band to grow.

In A Word: Eh

 

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