New Music | Friday Roll Out: Eyelids, Collapsing Scenery

Popularity truly means nothing. That’s right, I said it. How many shit-filled outfits have we all been forced to suffer through with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers that are creatively stagnant and cater to radio simply because they equate ad dollars? It’s unfortunate but we’re always going to be bombarded with nonsensical lyricism over repetitious rhythms and melodies we’ve all heard a thousand times, way too many to count in this lifetime. Ok, this is the moment I should say something clever but this isn’t the time for bullshit.

If you were unaware, Portland, Oregon’s Eyelids just released A Colossal Waste Of Light (Jealous Butcher), its fourth full-length release. If you’re unaware as to who the Eyelids are, you’re probably not alone but be forewarned, once you step into the band’s world, there’s no turning back. The band, which is led by led by The Decemberists‘ John Moen and one-time Guided by Voices member Chris Slusarenko are the dual songwriters of the group and with guitarist Jonathan Drews and drummer Paulie Pulvirenti, they stir up quite a racket. Well, it isn’t a “racket” in the traditional sense but the members offer something special under the guise of Eyelids. Now with new bassist Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven) in tow, Eyelids may just be on the precipice of greatness.

Often categorized as jangle-pop, which may not be far off, the band has much more to offer with its latest release. We won’t start at the beginning but rather somewhere in the middle, and on “Runaway Yeah,” the band rises to the occasion as the song’s crescendo seems easily hidden under sprawling notes and accentuated feedback melodies. But it’s not a crescendo, again, in the traditional sense as the band plays with dynamics as it goes from loud to louder(!) It’s a rocker of a song capable of holding your interest without being too obvious about it with its unassuming harmonies and thunderous drums. As I jump around the album, “Crawling Off Your Pages” delivers sweet melodies around both jangly and over-the-top guitar interplay but it’s the band’s vocal harmonies that capture all the attention here but the band captures that same magic throughout the album, and what a glorious ride it is. “Swinging In The Circus,” is punchy and unapologetically catchy, filled with sultry harmonies and an infectious rhythm. Krummenacher’s bass plays a larger roll here as he surrounds the song with a wave of descending notes and Pulvirenti fits his drums around them.

There is nothing though, and I mean absolutely nothing that will prepare anyone for “They Said So,” which premiered yesterday, with its unrelenting rhythm and commanding guitars. But it’s the soft-flowing vocals that demand attention as well. That and the harmonies once again stir up emotions. Now while this song is beyond epic, “I Can’t Be Told” is just as punchy, filled with exuberance and unwillingness to ever stop, in more ways than one.

What we end up with on A Colossal Waste Of Light is an album rife with tension, an unassuming power level, and songs to make the heavens sing. Eyelids is that band that will have you wondering where its been all your life because this is one of the greatest rock records of the year.

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In these late night hours we sometimes get lost and listening to something new, different, or just off-the-wall can be a heady task. Fortunately, no one cares and under the pale light of the moon we can sometimes take it or leave it. That leads us to the new album by Collapsing Scenery, the musical project of Don De Vore (Ink & Dagger, Lilys, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby) and Reggie Debris. The undertone set by A Desert Called Peace rings of electronic as keyboards and mechanical beats make their way throughout songs, but the group’s style? Well, that’s open for discussion.

Assuming there is style the group opts for, it doesn’t seem to matter because it seems everything and anything is an option and whatever makes sense will simply happen. And they welcome it. Whether it’s the electro-pop of the opening feel of the politically-tinged “The Right To Life” or “Morbid Symptoms” which features reggae man Tippa Lee, it’s all up for grabs. But you know what? It all seems to end up making sense. “Homepage Carnage” moves into a more art-fused pop direction, filled with harmonies and a bit of odd-timing but again, it all makes sense! The impassioned movements never let up, allowing the band a life within the bottom-heavy song.

An odd attempt at scratching to open “Hue And Cry” leads the Collapsing Scenery into faux-industrial mode, like a 90s soundtrack for the 23rd Century. There’s a stormy melody within the din of repetition and its captured perfectly, sinking its hooks it through your very flesh. The weight of the music seems on the brink of toppling over itself, and on “Colony Collapse,” it seems to happen as its melody shifts along with its rhythm, but it works.

Collapsig Scenery challenges the sense with A Desert Called Peace, there is a clear direction the band takes, although it utilizes a multitude of genres to get its point across. It’s an interesting mix of styles to fuck the status quo.

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