Owl Company are set to release their new album Iris on the world in the next few days. Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, with power to burn they are one of the latest signings to Eclipse Records. Combining hard rock influences from the seventies to the ninetoes with modern rage and brutality to create a sound that is fresh, aggressive and engaging.
With the opening riff of One Last Time and the bluesy sounding intro I am immediately reminded of Black Stone Cherry. This feeling continues with the intro riff as this song could have easily been off their latest offering, Family Tree. But even though they are my first thoughts as I sit back to listen to Iris, these guys are not BSC clones. As I progress through the album I find that they have combined an album full of hook laden, solid sounding, in your face rockers and one or two slower tracks.
The band came together in 2014 when Enrico Minelli (vocals) and Felipe Ruiz (guitar) began writing songs together. Soon after they recruited Thiago Biasoli (drums) to complete the band where they kept writing and performing locally throughout 2016. They also began to record songs in their home studio, in fact they ended up with enough for a full album. In April 2017 they self-released their debut album, Horizon with the addition of Fabio Yamamoto (bass) and Bruno Solera (guitar). The album was well received by the press and they travelled to the USA for a run of tour dates along the West Coast. While performing at LA’s notorious Viper Room they caught the attention of producer Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5 and 3 Doors Down).
After the tour they returned to Los Angeles and recorded a single entitled Pieces. This single was shopped around to dozens of labels and they received a number of offers. The band decided to sign with Eclipse Records (Mushroomhead, A Breach Of Silence, and Bobaflex) then proceeding to complete a full length new album with Matt Wallace. The result is Iris.
Iris is a fusion of a number of different sounds and the results to me, are good. I find that Enrico has a strong voice, reminiscent of Chris Robertson of Black Stone Cherry, but also at times channelling some of the great singers such as Chris Cornell (check out Dawn of Days and The Other Side). He combines melodic range with an ability to bring out a hard edge.
The riffs that abound throughout are hook laden and I find myself nodding along to some of the very cool riffs. Guitarists Felipe and Bruno also show they are no slouches when it comes to soloing. The rhythm section of Fabio and Thaigo really keep the album humming along with a tight sound that is particularly highlighted on The Other Side from about 1.30 in after the acoustic intro.
The album is a thirteen track affair, with a great range of tracks, and no filler. All songs hold their own, but for me the pick of the bunch are One Last Time, Boogie Man, Rise, The Other Side and Door.
Iris is released on November 9 through Eclipse records. Definitely worth taking it for a spin.
Owl Company are:
Enrico Minelli – Vocals
Felipe Ruiz – Guitars
Bruno Solera – Guitars
Fabio Yamamoto – Bass
Thaigo Biasoli – Drums