Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Evil Eyes - Borderlines

Confusion is underrated. Most people think that by being confused, one has lessened their position in life. Their brains can't grasp something, and that makes them upset because they fancy themselves a modern day genius. But it is in the lack of understanding that we can sometimes enjoy things. Not everything has to etched out in stone for us. Borderlines, by Evil Eyes, embraces this premise for the most part.

I usually like describing bands sounds, because I feel like I do it pretty accurately. But this is where my own confusion set in while listening to this album. Lost somewhere between Minus The Bear, Feist and The Helio Sequence (See? Totally different bands), Evil Eyes has taken a baskets full of sounds, thrown them in a blender and presented us a sound not fully describable. Yes, it's indie and yes, it's got some pop vibes to it, but it's its own sound, so typical definitions don't work on them.

"Saw Her In The Sun", a track with a terrific little tinny surf guitar part, reminded me (Musically) of some Tom Petty song, whos name escapes me right me (Not a Tom Petty fan anyways, so, it will probably escape me for the rest of time). "Borderlines" feels at home more in a math-rock album than this one, which is really a compliment since it's hard to make a nice sounding math-rock song in the first place. Others like "Evil Eyes" and "In The Summer" carry a bit of an Americana vibe to them, feeling like the backdrops to Sharon Van Etten songs. This, too, is a compliment. It's not important for a band to continually carry the same sound song in and song out. So long as you do it well, that's all that matters.

There are also songs like "Roll On" and "Keep Your Mind On Me" which give the album a bit of a pick me with their pop sensibilities. These two wound up being my favorite tracks on the album probably because of that (I wasn't bored with the album at all, they just gave it some energy), and gives Evil Eyes something to work with as they continue to build their varied and unique sound.

I only have a few gripes with the album, and they're so inconsequential that there's almost no reason to write them. "Flow" is the only track I really didn't like, clocking in under two minutes. It's not so much the length that bothered me, but the delivery and the length. Evil Eyes do a very good job throughout the album and making quality songs that, when this one arrives, makes you wonder why they made it in the first place. It's near the end of the album, which is nice since if it came near the beginning, the strength it builds itself could have waned quickly. My other gripe is that "Paper Thin Moon", the lack track of the album, shouldn't have been the last track of the album. I'm sure these guys deliberated as to how the album was going to progress, but I felt like it wasn't totally fulfilling as a bookend.

Borderlines is different, and those differences are what work for it. It's clear Evil Eyes worked hard to master their sound, as varied as it is, and the results speak for themselves. If you consider yourself brave, hell, even if you consider yourself a wuss towards trying new music, you owe it to yourself to check out Evil Eyes new album, Borderlines, today.  - Shane

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