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Black Eyes
Black Eyes
Self-Titled
Dischord


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Day Turns Night"

Buy me now
Black Eyes have been very busy since forming in August of 2001. After numerous small-scale tours and regional shows, the group has no doubt amassed a substantial fan base. It's hard to imagine that any of those people will be disappointed by the group's Dischord debut, as they've finally come close to capturing their energetic performance style on tape.

You might remember "Someone has his Fingers Broken" from the group's second seven-inch release, a split with the now defunct Early Humans. The song has been re-recorded here and sounds great (though the can't rival the original white vinyl). Each of the group's revolving crew of drummers and bassists is given a chance to shine here, driving home the pile-driving power of a larger-than-average rhythm section. Distraught vocals tie the track together, complete with a refrain full of "wooos" and "ooohs".

In "Day Turns Night", Black Eyes once again use noise and sound with more deliberate planning and skill than groups like The Locust. This helps to distinguish each song from its neighbors, and maintains the album's replay value. When you hear one of the band members scream -- and you're bound to, as all five of them join in on vocals -- it's not merely to produce a noise; the manic cries turn melodic, and the strained becomes seductive, though not in a typical sense. Black Eyes' sound is more in line with the expectations created by an album like Merzbow's Music for Bondage. While not nearly as cacophonous or abrasive as Merzbow's work, Black Eyes seems like an appropriate soundtrack for not-so-gentle pleasure. You might even pull out the included lyric sheet and try singing along -- but unless you really are a masochist, keep a few cough drops handy.

This is the band, aided by labelmates Q and Not U, that will finally pull Dischord into the twenty-first century. Count on them to make an even bigger noise than they already have. If your tastes favor frenzied, rabid or berserk rock, grab yourself a copy of Black Eyes and tie it up tight.



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