The Owl in Daylight - Trial By Fire
Record Label: none
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Trial By Fire is the debut EP from The Owl in Daylight. The EP starts off with the song "Granite for Granted; Marble for Marvel". a mid-tempo song with a driving rhythm. The opening guitar hook sounds like something off of Jawbox's For Your Own Special Sweetheart, sweet sounding but slightly dissonant at the same time. The song's lyrics use the imagery of stone and carving as a metaphor for a taxing relationship where the subject is slowly being reduced to a memory. The song has a great melody, and really catchy chorus. So far a good start to this 6 song EP.
The next song, "This is my Helicopter" is probably the standout track on the EP. The beginning starts off with a driving punk sound. During the prechorus the guitars split up as the song begins to build up tension right before the key change. Then chorus hits you with its raw energy, plowing you down with a path of destruction as "helicopter" crashes to the ground. Another reason why I like this song is that it actually has an outro that is distinctly different from the rest of the song.
"January", the third song plays with pocket more than the others. Similarly to Death Cab's "We Laugh Indoors", the song is built over a drumbeat that loops for most of the song. This is a song where the guitars rarely play the same rhythm or melody. During the verses, the bass acts as the primary melodic force, almost like a third guitar. The song culminates at the end when lead vocalist and back up vocalist start shouting in an almost Grohl-esque manner "maybe then..
"On Being a Supergiant" is almost two songs rolled into one. The song starts off guietly with reverb and delay drenched guitars slowly blooming into a faster-mid tempo song. Lyrically the song uses a lot of references to space to describe loneliness, and being slightly out of reach, or "out of orbit" as the singer describes.
"Supergiant" is followed up by "One in Vermillion", a nice straight forward pop-punk number with good vocal melodies and harmonies, and an overall catchy melody. The theme of this song is clearly about the downfalls of alcoholism. This is probably second-best track on the EP. The song is not musically as exploratory as the previous two tracks, but at the same time it's simplicity is welcome.
The EP concludes with "Okay, Mantis" a slower song which seems to be about youthful aspirations and how quickly we become obsolete, or at least that is what I think the song is about. I thought the dual vocal approach during the bridge which features overlapping vocals was a nice touch as well as the middle part where all the instruments except for the drums drop out. This song has some really nice huge sounding guitar chords in it as well. Good way to close the EP.
Overall, this is a very solid EP. This band isn't very flashy, they are definitely not "shredders". This band just write well though-out, dynamic, catchy songs. Nothing seems too sugar-coated, deliberately dark or out of place. There is definitely a nostalgic quality to the songs as well. Its not a perfect release for sure, but definitely a good foundation for them to build off of. If Trial By Fire is any indicator of what The Owl in Dalight's may release in the future, then we can expect good things to come from this band.