Though not as revered as the final album from The Nerve Agents, Days Of The White Owl is certainly a turning point for the band and a definite precursor to the critical darling of an album that succeeds it, and this is perhaps a monster injustice to The Nerve Agents because with their last and best album for Revelation, they take big steps into a slightly different direction that really is all the difference in the world as far as just how good they are (or were if you will). With Days Of The White Owl some new members make their presence known or even felt in the different songs as they overtly add whole new elements to the music (like the piano parts from bassist Dante Sigona), and just maybe the membership changes also brought some new attitude and (dare I say) some healthy reckless abandon to the sound and feel of the band.
All the hallmarks of The Nerve Agents are in full aural view on Days Of The White Owl from the manic shifting of tempos (slow creepy crawl speeds as in the intro to “Prey” to the manic guitars and drums found all over the record) to the impassioned and awesome sounding vocals and even the definite tense mood; this band has a unique mystique that their records carry due in no small part to the sheer energy that each song exudes and the crisp sound of the guitars and the unmistakable voice of their vocalist (Eric Ozenne) that somehow seems to ratchet up the energy level on its own (you can imagine seeing a man possessed leaping about the stage and throwing himself at the audience all while having those crazy eyes (yeah you know what I am talking about if you listen to these guys) that just scream, I am a maniac). Though I can honestly say that there is not a single track on the album that I would skip, there are certain songs that my ears really prick up for whenever I hear them pop up when I am playing Days Of The White Owl such as “Out On The Farm” (love the guitar tones and sounds as well as the dark spoken vocals at the beginning and the well placed background vocals), “Dead Man Walking” (this is one of those songs where the stereo seemingly can barely contain the energy of the music coming from the speakers) and shouting along to the words “Dead Man Walking” is always fun), “Fall Of The All American” (love the overall fell of this track as it really kicks the album off well with its high speed Ramones -esque riff and some serious rapid fire vocals), “Your Warning” (the harmonics on the guitars are just awesome sounding and the bass lines are sweet as hell), and the aforementioned “Prey”
Perhaps unfairly overshadowed by its successor, Days Of The White Owl sometimes feels as though it languishes in somewhat obscurity when talking about the band with others as just about everyone points to their final album as their favorite; but I of the opinion that this record is just as worthy a entry into the bands discography and has all the energy and je ne sais qua that you would hope to hear when you pop on The Nerve Agents, and listening to the album makes me pine for a day when the band gets back together and devastates punk rock venues the world over so that I can scream (with squeals of joy and an excitement level that threatens to rip through my skin) “Dead Man Walking” right back at those crazy eyes.
8.0 / 10
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