Four years ago an idea was birthed, a concept, a dream. That dream was Eyes Fly, and it’s the offspring of two musicians, known only as Pete, who plays guitar, and Gareth, who drums.Hallelujah, Eyes Fly was alive. After a couple of years of working as a two piece, they recruited Tom on bass, and with the arrival of Dean on vocal, the line-up was complete.
Step forward in time to now, 2020, and Eyes Fly are now releasing their debut album, the self-titled Eyes Fly. It’s a seven-track concoction of Mastodon flavour stoner rock, mixedthe retro iconic sounds of nineteen eighties hard rock bands such as Saxon and Magnum.
As it’s a debut, nothing has come before, so it’s a fresh new entity. There’s no previous work to draw comparison with, and so I have to look to bands I already recognise to be able to explain which sounds they are best partnered with, so that I can sell them to you appropriately.
Opening track Supernova Building crashes in with a sublime ferocity that Mastodon themselves would be proud of. Over the soundtrack of grooves and pounding drums, is a duel wave of vocal, at times its really throaty singing, while at others it’s gravelly shouting, a real difference in style to match the pace of the tune.
By the time we hit track three, Hero Dies, the tone has shifted, and it’s more enveloped by a real hark back to the hard rocking times of the nineteen eighties. It has a different feel, and even though the drums are still pounding, the specifics have changed, and the versatility of the band shines through.
The Long Return really encapsulates Eyes Fly’s obvious love for that retro eighties sound, and as it starts, it’s slower, and far more atmospheric. This is shattered a few minutes in, when it changes, and hits a heavier tone. It continues to peak and trough throughout, and I can all but imagine the sea of lighters raised in the air, swaying in time to the remainder of the song.
Opening track Supernova Building crashes in with a sublime ferocity that Mastodon themselves would be proud of…
As It Lurks opens, we’re greeted face first by some incredible riffage that John Christ and Eerie Von of the classic Danzig line up would be proud of. It’s ludicrously heavy, and really makes this tune stand out for me. It’s dark chugging guitar makes its way through the tune, and really brings it to life.
This is also true on closer It Returns, where those early Danzig tones surface again…
My favourite track on the album though, is track six, Coerce, Control. It truly warms my heart, it’s in complete contrast to the rest of the album as it opens with an enchanting piece of guitar work, it’s beautifully played, and it captures me completely. As it progresses, the drums work their way in, as if emerging from the mist, and by the fourth minute the vocal arrives, and it changes the track. Gone is the calm, replaced with a far heavier intersection. As the end approaches the calm returns, and the quality of the musicianship shines through once again.
There are moments on this debut that I really adore, the Mastodon/Danzig flourishes that really kept me hooked, but it was ultimately Coerce, Control that won the day for me.
It will be interesting to see where Eyes Fly go from here, as they grow, and truly find themselves, and it will be nice to see if they capitalise on the elements they already excel at, or if their journey will take them off in a different direction completely.
One thing is for sure, this is just the beginning…
Scribed by: Lee Beamish