Whoooo’s Comin’ to Town? Owl, That’s Whoooo…
The LA/NY-based rock band Owl – featuring Chris Wyse (vocals/bass), Jason Achilles Mezilis (guitar) and Albany’s own Dan Dinsmore (drums) – is set to release their third album, the propulsive Things You Can’t See on Tuesday July 28 on Dinsmore’s Overit Records, but you can get a sneak peek on Saturday night (July 18), when Owl takes the stage at Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs.
Owl frontman, bassist and producer Chris Wyse started writing Things You Can’t See between his tenure as a band member in seminal rock outfit the Cult and his new position as bass player for former lead guitarist and founding member of KISS, Ace Frehley. Wyse played on Frehley’s 2014 solo album Space Invader, which led to him joining the band full time.
As Wyse explains, “The Cult will always be my brothers in rock, and it was an honor to play with such brilliant musicians during our decade together. I now look forward to scorching the earth in the Ace Frehley Band. We’re currently working on an all-covers album due out on eOne Music, which has been a blast. Ace has always been a hero of mine and a big influence – playing with him, Scot Coogan and Richie Scarlet is awesome!”
Longtime Local 518 music fans will remember Wyse from his days on the Nippertown rock scene back in the late ’80s and ’90s playing in such bands as East Wall, Mister Strange and Nobody. And Dinsmore, of course, was Wyse’s bandmate in East Wall, who later went on the fuel the propulsive Clay People.
Creatively on fire and armed with song ideas for Owl, Wyse and the band holed up at drummer Dan Dinsmore’s Overit Studios in Albany in early 2014 to record the new six-track collection. For the first time, the band didn’t work off of completed songs – instead they jammed in the studio, honing and cultivating the music in the moment. This new approach on Things You Can’t See inspired Owl to be more experimental and musically ambitious than on their previous two releases. “We’ve evolved to a place where we completely trust each other musically,” says Wyse. “And it really shows in the character and attitude on this record.”
The first single, “Who’s Gonna Save You Now,” blares a wall of distortion as Wyse delivers a sharp, searing hook, while the title track poses thought-provoking questions via raw, thunderous rhythms. “Lake Ego” follows with an immersive, soundscape stomp, and “Star Up” offers a hyper-charged sonic catharsis. “Witch’s Familiar” delves into progressive psychedelia, and “Alive (Acoustic)” wraps up the disc with soaring melodies set against a booming bass line.
“We’ve really come into our own as a band with Things You Can’t See,” says Dinsmore. “This record is a great, formidable showcase of everything we do best, and we’re very proud of it,” adds Mezilis. Wyse concludes, “The style we’ve developed is unbridled and unfiltered, as is our message. We stand behind every single note front to back.”
Owl wings their way into Putnam Den in Saratoga springs on Saturday (July 18), with NYC’s Vinyette and howmegrown Spa City rockers Angels On the Fourth kicking off the evening at 9pm. Admission is $10; $15 if under age 21.