Once again, the editor has fired over some Scandinavian prog rock for me to check out, I sometimes get the feeling that he's trying to break me! Let’s see what Electric Eye’s second long player has to offer.....
I had a really good listen to this album before doing my usual “pre-listening” research – which admittedly consists of reading the press kit and having a swift search via google. My overall thoughts are that this album is certainly 60s psych/prog influenced with several tracks being on the more 'trippy' side of the fence. I had this lot down as something of a bunch of Hawkwind fans. Then I read the press kit which save for the Hawkwind reference, said much the same thing. So, there you have my review – oh hang on…. You want to know what I thought of it??
The opening track is “Silent By The River” which has a rather hypnotic drone to it but it’s quite a decent opener. The 60s tinges are in full effect and for a first listen, it sets a good template as to what the rest of the album is going to be like – and I think I will like it……. The second song is the psych-tastically named, “All Of This Has Happened Before And Will Happen Again”. It’s built on a slightly fuzzy sounding bass riff and an interesting drum pattern – there is a trippy keyboard line under an equally trippy guitar line, again the song is strangely hypnotic. The musicianship is decent enough and I’m currently happy enough with what I’m listening to. The third track is called “Mercury Rise” and the verse seems an exact copy of T-Rex’s - 'Get It On'. So much so that I was almost disappointed when the chorus wasn’t forthcoming! There are two ways of looking at such a facsimile copy – 1) Get all offended and release your impotent rage by railing against these sorts of rip-offs on Twitter 2) Smiling and appreciating the similarities, whilst noting that there are actually some extra psych-tinges and wondering how a full blown cover would sound. I liked it to be honest!
Track 4 is entitled “Bless” and it’s another song built around a groovy bass line and I can start to hear the “traces of Indian drone” referred to in the aforementioned press kit. You can see why Electric Eye have toured both Europe and in the USA – which included some high profile gigs like SXSW and Eurosonic. Next up is “Heavy Steps on Desert Floor” (what???) which is a fine enough song but seems to offer nothing different to the previous songs – trippy groovy bass, strange vocal treatments and deliberately repetitive guitar lines and around this point of the album, is where I’m beginning to lose interest. It’s not helped by being the longest song on the album. “Never Fade Away” is the penultimate track, which follows a similar pattern but has something about it, which raises its level above the previous offerings – the bridge/chorus lines creating enough interest. There’s also a whacky sounding keyboard solo which also helps! The album closes with “Part One” which is the slowest song on offer here and it’s also the only instrumental.
I may or may not have used the word “hypnotic” in this review previously, but there really is no other suitable adjective for this song. It’s completely other-worldly and for me the best song on the album. It’s based on a really slow drum beat, and some lovely guitar work, with some beautiful atmospheric keyboards for good measure. I absolutely loved it and it’s a stunningly good end to the album.
The album is due for release on 5th February 2016 and is one that I would recommend you give a couple of listens to. I’ll leave you with a quote from the press kit that finishes this review, in a far better way than I possibly could:-
"It’s fully possible to hear traces of the golden psychedelic reveries of the 60s and the lyrical and scenic prog rock of the 70s in Electric Eye’s music. A dose of motoric, German sounds must be mentioned, plus Indian drone music. But ‘Different Sun’ is first and foremost proof of Electric Eye as a band who in every way is present in the moment, where they guide the listeners on a perpetual musical journey full of surprises. Fasten your seatbelts and look for a different sun!"
Download: Part One, Mercury Rise, Silent By The River.
Review by Adrian Grainger