Owen - (the ep) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


(the ep) (2004)


Mike Kinsella's alter-ego Owen has produced another batch of feel-good acoustic nu-folk songs, but in a change from No Good For No One Now [review], they're all surprisingly solid, and much stronger than any of his previous work under the Owen banner.

The five songs on this EP are the strongest Kinsella has put to tape since his days as the frontman for American Football; coincidentally, opening track "Skin and Bones" actually harkens back to those days, with a fascinating 10/4 beat that makes me want to listen to American Football's "Never Meant" as soon as the song ends. Another standout is the the almost 7-minute dirge of "That Mouth," proof that a song can be slow and long and still go somewhere. It's songs like this that make you want to lie in bed all day staring at the ceiling.

One of my biggest beefs with Owen before was the amount of profanities in the lyrics on No Good For No One Now. The songs were well composed, but hearing random "fuck"s inserted into virtually every song was a bit jarring. Kinsella seems to have the Tourette's under control on this EP, spending more time writing potent lines to lost loves such as "We're two bicycles / Ridden, too tired to know which one of us two was dumb enough to choose the other as a lover," or "You're on your way with the taste of blood from a bitten tongue / You're in need of some new teeth that won't cave in."

With (the ep), Mike Kinsella has finally reached the potential he first showed with American Football. With a full-length due in the fall, one can only hope this hot streak continues.

In The Morning, Before Work