Owls Owls

These two albums celebrate the death and afterlife of Joan of Arc. How Can Any Thing So Little Be Any More?, an EP of outtakes from their 2000 album, The Gap, is the end of the band's career. Being hailed as their last hurrah, HCATSLBAM? continues JOA's eclecticism and also reveals their interest in a more traditional rock sound. "Ne Mosquitoes Pass," "Most At Home In Motels" and "My Cause is Nobel and Just" show the band's potential to write tender acoustic ballads. However, JOA, who always seemed to have something strange up their sleeve, dabble with their experimentalist reputations and use a child to sing "We Neither Hide Nor Speak" and make flying saucer noises on "My Fight is Necessary"; very weird and, at times, annoying. Owls is the result of JOA's death, and is exactly what I've been waiting for a long while. It is the answer to the question of "What if JOA decided to go pop?" and it sounds great. Containing the two Kinsellas (Tim and Mike), Owls are straight ahead indie-rock: no computers, no abstractions, no experimenting. What's left then? Tim Kinsella's scratched blackboard of a voice singing the same brand of intellectual lyrics with the same unconventional names ("For Nate's Brother Whose Name I Never Knew or Can't Remember") is what's offered. "Everyone is my Friend" is an upbeat pop song complete with a jangling guitar and bouncing drumbeats that can match any Sunny Day Real Estate tune (Jade Tree)