I spend a lot of time listening to, and occasionally writing about, bands that I think are the best around – but most people have never heard of. Eyelids (possibly still officially called Eyelids Or in the UK) fall firmly into that camp. On their 4th proper album (and they release loads of other great stuff on singles, collaborations and live recordings) A Colossal Waste Of Light they continue to quietly release some of the best guitar pop around.
Already boasting alumni of Guided By Voices, The Decemberists and other bands in their ranks they are even more of a super-group now with the addition of Camper Van Beethoven’s Victor Krummenacher on bass. Making things even more super is the return of Peter Buck on production duties, also adding guitar on some tracks.
Where their last album, The Accidental Falls, had more of a 60s and early 70s feel this album returns to Paisley Underground influences that we’ve seen across the band’s career. Overall the album has quite a mellow and relaxed feel, but that doesn’t mean it is without edge and energy.
As we’ve come to expect the playing is top quality and the melodies are beautiful throughout. Guitar lines and vocals intertwine beautifully against a solid rhythmic backline. Song writing and lead vocal duties are shared between Chris Slusarenko and John Moen as on the previous albums. As ever the difference between song quality form the two is as thin as a piece of paper. There is enough difference to add some variety without any song ever feeling like it isn’t an “Eyelids” song.
These are generally songs that smack you in the face, they creep up on you and reveal themselves. There are layers to these songs, and each listen to the album sounds different than before. Your favourite songs on first listen will be replaced on your third and then back to favourite status 6th time around.
There is a confidence to the band. A confidence in the songs that means three of the strongest tracks end the album. They know it is a good album and you’ll still be there at the end. Final track ‘I Can’t Be Told’ is certified banger. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that the band are opening with it at gigs. It stomps along and is driven by pounding rhythm’s and the kind of simple yet perfect guitar riff the band delivers so effortlessly.
The last two Eyelids albums hit the number 1 and number 2 spots in our end of year charts. If this album isn’t in one of those spots come December then we’ve had a pretty good time.
By Dorian Rogers