Jared Southhard's grandmother had an owl fetish: clocks, salt-and-pepper shakers, you name it. And while such seemingly well-mannered knickknacks often embody the qualities of wisdom and patience, who's to say they won't suddenly fly into your windshield late at night and shatter a thoughtful moment? For the bird-watching frontman of Sacramento's Low Flying Owls (above), air-traffic control means dodging comparisons to Iron Butterfly while maintaining a universal stoner appeal best appreciated by fans of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Warlocks. Drone-happy to the nth degree, the Owls make the garage revival seem worthwhile, reintroducing walls of psychedelic, feedback-induced noise to the hard of hearing. More important, the four-piece (rounded out by guitarist Andy Wagner, bassist Mike Bruce and drummer Sam Coe) flat-out rocks. Ask U.K. tastemaker John Peel, who recently discovered the band, and the soundtrack supervisor of The Sopranos, who pinched "Glad to Be Alive" for an episode last season. Touring in support of Elixer Vitae, the pride of New York's Stinky Records turns cautionary tales about lost faith, killers and evil real estate agents into something that even Woodsy the Owl could give a hoot about.
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