Night Owls Night Owls

Here's a hot tip on how to earn piles of likeability points and the instant attention of eager post-hardcore fans: open your record with something that sounds like the riff-iest and most melodic thing Fugazi have never done. The self-titled debut EP from Night Owls is a pretty flawless addition to the influential '90s hardcore sounds of their home state (what's up, H2O and Snapcase? Nice to see you), even if this newly assembled group of lesser-known Syracuse, NY scene vets are a little reluctant to acknowledge it. Included as a bonus track is a live set from late 2008, and even though the sound is a bit muddy it demonstrates the cohesion they exhibit on record and gives the already punchy songs added edge and depth. Night Owls' lyrics are as generically anti-everything as non-conformist punks can get ("Alienation") but a 16-year-old somewhere in nowhere, NY is going to spend his weekends living them in basements, so, mission accomplished. (Hex)