Owen - No Good For No One Now (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


No Good For No One Now (2002)


Mike Kinsella has been an integral part of the midwestern emo scene. Drumming for midwestern emo founders Cap'n Jazz [a band I never got into] as well as for the uber-(f)artsy Joan Of Arc [a band I still loathe]. Let's also not forget that he currently plays drums for Cap'n Jazz part two, better known as the Owls [another band who I just don't enjoy]. So one would think that if all these bands have Mike Kinsella in them, then I wouldn't enjoy them?

Wrong! See, all those bands have Tim Kinsella in them - his evil more than cancels out Mike's good. But when Mike is without his annoying brother, he makes amazing music - take one listen to American Football's full length if you don't believe me.

So now Mike has Owen, his semi-new solo project. Every last noise on this album is created by Mike, so it is void of anyone's creative input. This is partly where the CD fails. Sure, Mike is great at creating really, really pretty songs, but with no yang to his yin, they tend to fall a bit flat. American Football succeeded with the dichotomy between Mike and Steve Lamos - now that Mike is alone, he loses part of his spark.

And to replace that spark, he seems to resort to profanity.

No, seriously. Almost every one of the seven lengthy tracks on this CD contain the word "fuck," and most times are ad-libbed [since they aren't in the lyric sheet]. To paraphrase the Big Lebowski: Dude, do you have to use so many gull-darn curse words? It really kills a lot of the songs. The music will be sliding by, with Mike's excellent semi-abstract-but-still-able-to-tell-a-story lyrics, and then he just utters "fuck" and it ruins the whole thing. I'm not one against profanity, but man, it just doesn't fit Mike's image at all.

But then again, maybe that's the point - maybe Mike is sick of people hating Tim, and thinking he's the pretentious one while everyone else looks to him to write songs about puppy dogs and sunsets with your girlfriend. This might be Mike's form of rebellion - make the same really, really smooth, relaxing indie rock he's always had a penchant for making, but shock the listener with the words.

Or maybe I'm just too damn tired and should stop reading into CDs too much.

The Ghost Of What Should Have Been

The Ghost Of What Should Have Been