Along with Blunt Objects, DID NOT! is one project of Bill Owens, a recording artist from Tucson, Arizona. Working together with Matt Rendon, they are revitalizing songs written by Owens in the 1970s. They focus on a sound that became overshadowed by disco and corporate rock of the time, full of jangly guitar and moody rock vocals contained in short catchy pop songs.
DID NOT! record songs in Matt’s studio, a time capsule of recording equipment and instruments from the ’60s. The Midtown Island studio brings them back in time to record authentic vintage-sounding rock in the current year, music which never found an audience in its own time. ‘DID SO!’ is their new album, a collection of songs with a retro sound for the modern era.
The album kicks off with “Every Time I See You,” introducing itself with an intro of bright and layered guitars. Wistful vocals take over the track, harmonies highlight an ethereal and timeless nature that these songs have. A straightforward song form keeps this track concise, fading out around the two and a half minute mark keeps “Every Time I See You” as a concise first impression for the album.
“All Of My Books” is a change of pace, with a slower, wide-open sound. Dramatic guitar chords drenched in reverb take on a western-like sound. The chorus arrives with a galloping beat, driving the track forward. A short guitar solo acts as a bridge in the middle of the song.
Songs like “Hammer,” “Kamikaze Lovers,” and “A Kind Of Imbalance” show off a great classic rock sound. It is interesting to hear a distilled rock sound, from an era that established the roots of alternative and indie rock today. These songs have a strong guitar focus, and can sound surprisingly heavy with distortion on the guitar.
The penultimate track of the album is “Just One Chance.” This track gets right into the action with acoustic guitar and a drum fill leading into a cinematic electric guitar line. The vocals are dramatic, repeating the chorus with passion. “Just One Chance” leads perfectly into the last track of the album.
The album closes off with “It’s A Game,” a track full of soaring guitars and light, airy vocals. Acoustic guitar, drum fills, and synths all layer together to fill out this song. A great send off for ‘DID SO!’ embodying the sound they are recreating on this project. This album featured 12 great tracks, and DID NOT! have recorded over 40 songs this year already. They keep the studio in 1968 but they definitely have more in store for the future.