Friday, 19 December 2008

CD Review: Owd Ear Records - 14 Songs to Derail Your Zen

by Charlotte Lunt

Owd Ear Records are a gathering of musicians who in various guises have produced a fine collection of ’14 Songs to Derail Your Zen’. The album shows the positively eclectic influences of its creators not simply delivering broad strokes within a comfortable genre, but with the differing groups having distinct sounds.

The album is opened by Tribal Brides of the Amazon’s ‘Better days’ which sets a fast pace and demands attention with just that and the urgency of Jim Mycock’s vocals; before the album takes a distinctly different turn with Sunny No Share’s track 'FOALW', an atmospheric track with distorted vocals and lead by keys.

Herrald Harks deliver a mellower dimension to the album with stand out track ‘Sherriff’, which ambles along with layered vocals and sauntering bass. Being one of the main contributors on the album, their tracks meld together the electronic and guitar driven music favoured by the other contributors providing a more accessible way into the world of Owd Ear.

The other main contributor to the album is Low Key, who delivers charged electronica ranging from discordant and angular on ‘Drinking Smoking Freaks’ where he collaborates with Mar Kee, to the darker grittier character of ‘Economic Sanction’.

A number of the artists appear only once in particular guises such as Poverty & the Vultures, and Sunny no Share each bringing another dimension to the album and showcasing the talent of those involved.

For an album that deliberately sets out to “derail your zen”, this diverse collection of tracks certainly pushes boundaries; that is not to say that it is a mismatch of songs that have no place being together, but more of a deliberately composed selection box of songs that reflect the personalities that make up Owd Ear. It is precisely because of this that ’14 Songs to Derail Your Zen’ is well worth a listen or two, and is available through Owd Ear Recordings.

Also listen: Tribal Brides of the Amazon

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