At first blush, there isn't a vast gulf between JOA and the Owls on their eponymous debut. There are still plenty of jazz chops buried under the artifice of pop/punk, with Kinsellas warbling in a key only he can hear, like some postmodern Lou Reed or Neil Young. The swirling, shifting soundtrack is provided by drummer Mike Kinsella, guitarist Victor Villarreal, and bassist Sam Zurick, and stays primarily within the parameters that Kinsellas has exacted through most of his incarnations. Akin to Kinsellas's previous work, Owls is baffling in lyrical and musical construct ("What Whorse You Wrote Id On," "I Want the Blindingly Cute to Confide in Me"), while combining the punky lo-fi energy of Pavement with the jazzy blues undercurrent of Captain Beefheart to startlingly effective results. Like the best pop/jazz mutations, Kinsellas and the Owls have made something that sounds carelessly tossed off and improvised, but ultimately, upon closer scrutiny, reveals itself to be more tightly structured and composed.