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splendid > reviews > 9/28/2004
Wolf Eyes
Wolf Eyes
Burned Mind
Sub Pop


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Stabbed in the Face"

Buy me now
Yup, this is noise. It happens to be noise that's officially sanctioned by Thurston Moore, which means -- depending upon how much cachet Mr. Moore holds with you -- that they may be worth a spin. On the other hand, given the Eyes' nihilistic approach to noise (these are cats who must feel Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson are sellouts for being comprehensible), a spin of Burned Mind might also send you into fits of laughter at their sheer obtuseness, or cause a migraine that'll last until Bastille Day. And song titles like "Dead in a Boat", "Stabbed in the Face" and "Urine Burn" can, presumably, inspire the same giggling that they would have elicited if they'd been scribbled on the back of a sixth grader's notebook. However, if you peel away the pretense, there's actually a fascinating album at work here.

This is highly polished noise, which means that Wolf Eyes understand the precision required to repulse a listener without driving him or her away. Their sonic screeds masterfully balance the high and low ends, leading me to believe there's a method to the madness and even -- dare I say? -- a song structure or two in place. The heights and depths to which they push the acoustic boundaries of their systems (and my head) are truly awe-inspiring, though that does not necessarily correlate to an enjoyable experience. Subjecting oneself to Burned Mind is not unlike volunteering for clandestine torture in a dank and dimly lit basement, only to find that you somehow enjoy it. At least until the rats show up.



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