Low Flying Owls quickly issued a debut album and EP before returning with their first for Stinky in summer 2003. Elixir Vitae experiments with a post-alternative mix of psychedelia and dream pop for a raucous rock & roll blend, highlighting the band's most fashionably developed effort of their career thus far. This California quartet create their own scene with their sludgy blues and lazy acid rock influences while also finding themselves in a spot away from their counterparts (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Spiritualized). Kicking things off with the guitar-driven fire of "Glad to Be Alive," the Low Flying Owls exude confidence straight from the hip. "Swingin' Sam" saunters along with similar appeal -- swanky riffs are ablaze with frontman Jared Southard's near-hypnotic vocal groan, but as soon as they've captured the listener with their feverish disposition, Elixir Vitae switches up for a neo-psychedelic romp. Low Flying Owls go for something sonically lush and warm after the sinister vibes of "Look of a Killer" calm down, tweaking the album's overall abstract design. The sexy haze of "Babies Made" and the haunting grooves of "Beaches of Tomorrow" radiate in mood and tempo, hence the literal meaning of Elixir Vitae and Low Flying Owls' intention of creating a solid album. As trippy as it is and regardless of what direction the band takes after this, Elixir Vitae is slick enough without the swagger and a great catalog fit.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson