The Owl

Pram The Owl Service(Domino)


The Owl Service(Domino)

Some people check under their bed at night for spiders or monsters or murderers. Those who are well ahead in the irrational paranoia game, however, check under their bed for Pram. There's something inexplicably creepy about Birmingham's oddest band - very possibly oddest inhabitants, full stop - and it can't just be put down to their pathological fondness for torturing brass instruments. 'The Owl Service' is their latest ramble through the Blue Remembered Hills of the avant-strange, a woozy clockwork fantasia that trashes that old 'beautiful yet disturbing' cliche by sticking with plain old disturbing. The Hawaiian siren song of 'The Mermaids' Hotel

(Sub Aquatic Refrain)'
, meanwhile, lurks in the shadows of the octopus' garden with a poisoned chalice and a whole load of malicious intent.

Maybe it's their Flowers In The Attic-style obsession with the infantile. Maybe it's the child-opera-singer vocals. Or maybe it's just that they've survived so long with no visible means of support, strangely unchanging, strangely controlled. They're waiting for something, but what? What?

Victoria Segal

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