Eyelids – Or

Or, the second album by Eyelids (the band being confusingly called Eyelids Or in the UK), comes hot on the heels of their first ever UK dates and my opportunity to hear some of their new songs for the first time live. The new songs they played, plus the couple already released as singles, gave me a pretty good idea what to expect from the album. Sophomore releases can be disappointing, often pieced together from sings written at the same time as the debut in order for a label to get a quick follow-up release. With Eyelids being made up of veterans, with many albums to their credit, this wasn’t ever going to be the case and this album is filled with the freshness and wealth of ideas you’d expect from a band at their peak.

Eyelids Or

The album kicks off with ‘Slow It Goes’ a single that was a real statement if intent when it came out last year,  all sparkling riffs and 60s beat-pop vocals. ‘Camelot’ keeps the pace up with a guitar line that could be straight from a Cracker record and guest keyboards from Jay Gonzales (from Drive-By Truckers) adding some extra depth.

This is an album with some nice changes in pace and after a break-neck start we slow down for the rather lovely pairing of ‘Falling Eyes’ and ‘Tell Me You Know’, the latter pulling in some of 60s psyche influences that were front and centre on their debut.

This is an album which is expertly sequenced and really doesn’t sag at any point. As such I’ll avoid the temptation tom wax lyrical about each song here. Honourable mentions go to ‘My Caved In Mind’ (another single surely?) which features an insanely catchy almost new-wave opening riff and ‘Moony’. Any song that sites Black Sea era XTC as the influence for the rhythm section is alright by me.

The real triumph of the album is how well the band pull all the different elements together across the board.  The playing is uniformly great, their debut showed off some great guitar playing and this release continues to impress. It isn’t just the guitars though, strong vocal harmonies and an excellent rhythm section make this more than just about the axes.

The use of guest performers is another big tick in the box. Sometimes when a band brings in guest players it feels like little more than an excuse to get a name on the liner notes. The guests here all have a purpose, and that purpose is to sound as much like themself as possible. When we hear Peter Buck’s mandolin it sounds just like Peter Buck and when Jonathan Seagal’s violin comes in it could only be the Camper van Beethoven man playing. This is a band of musical magpies and the bits of magic they bring from other bands, from other influences and different sounds is all carefully designed to make Eyelids sound as good as possible.

Peter Buck also produced the album and, along with engineer Thom Monahan, he does a great job. This is an album that sounds really good, all the elements are given space and the balance on the album is just right. Buck is clearly a fan of the band as well, appearing (see above) in the video for ‘Falling Eyes’.

If you loved their debut album you’re going to love this, nothing about it disappoints. If you haven’t heard Eyelids already then this release is a great place to start (before quickly going back to hear their previous LP and EP releases). You can thank me later for introducing you to your new favourite band.


By Dorian Rogers



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