weird-owlOne of the joys of being a full time stoner is exploring the virtues of conspiracy theories. One of the best ones involves the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Grove, and an Owl burning ritual. As you stick together skins on the gatefold, and start dropping weed into what will be a rough approximation of a Camberwell Carrot, consider this – why on earth are some of the most powerful men getting together in a forest clearing and worshiping at the sight of a fiery bird? Doesn't make sense does it? I mean an owl is hardly a symbol that signifies power and strength – wisdom maybe, but wisdom's never been high in the attributes of world leaders has it? So why not pick a panther? Or a tiger? Or a vampire bat? Those a far more the signifiers a group of power hungry lunatics are after. An owl? Apart from a pretty impressive twisty head and the ability to emit pellets, there's not an awful lot going on there is there?Unless of course it's some kind of Weird Owl with a speaker in place of a sphincter, a hash leaf patternation on its feathers, and a hoot that manages to mix together the best qualities of prog, psych, and stoner rock. Then, and only then would you have an owl worth worshiping.Such a weird owl does exist it would appear, and Ever the Silver Cord be Loosed is its first pellet to be emitted, its first hoot into the night, and the initial honk from its peculiar sphincter.Probably best enjoyed whilst floating around the ceiling, Weird Owl's sound comes from several ages at once. Most obviously they are rooted in 60's psychedelia, but there's also a strong surge of 70's rock pushing through much of the album. There are influences of blues and Americana to be found in the slide guitar playing on '13 Arrows, 13 Stars' while the pomp of Ted Nugent can be found slinking around on the outskirts of 'Flying Low Through The Air After Thunder'.Names such as Lynyrd Skynrd, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin spring quickly to mind as 'Ever The Silver Cord' passes by in a fuggy cloud. It's most certainly a dated sound, but then that's no bad thing, after all OM are hardly distant cousins to what Weird Owl are doing here. They too take great stoner riffs and build on them until they form huge grooves of repetition; the only difference is that Weird Owl are quicker to change between riffs and their vocals are more Neil Youngesque than the religious drone found on 'Conference of Birds'.Indeed if you could level one criticism at Weird Owl it's that sometimes, they lose the thread/cord occasionally and their jams lack focus, making it hard to concentrate for the duration of the album. That's more time to consider the image of John Major in a cowl flapping about at the altar of a burning bird of prey though, so it's not all bad.At their best Weird Owl are hypnotic and spell binding, as on the fabulous hazy dirge of 'Tobin's Spirit Guide' at their worst, they simply meander about like a hippy trying to come to terms with the consumerism of the 80's (that short period of time just before joining the capitalist gang-bang obviously).Not quite an Owl worth worshiping just yet then, but in time, they could just develop a cult of their own. Now roll another fat one, and play it again.72%Weird Owl on MySpace