Other Sky [LP; Grapefruit]

A gnarled, patient mess of nerves, Other Sky follows the recent emergence of EYE as a side-project (or sorts) from Peter Stapleton, Peter Porteous and Jon Chapman. It no longer feels as a once-in-awhile think from this trio, but rather a lengthy monologue that comes out in yearly installments. Where 2014’s Winterwork felt like the Groundhog busily hurrying to burrow deeper and further from the Dunedin sound in fear of his shadow predicting more bad weather, Other Sky signifies the permanent gray that has now lasted through the last three Eye releases. “Tension Cue” is just that; an opening mix of calming mantras of heavy guitar that slowly ratchets up the anxiety. It continues with “Kotuku, Kotukutuku,” where the meditative qualities seem focused on how to turn into a bundle of reactionary nerves despite the rather hushed melody. It is broken up by a slowly building wall of screeches and squalls, the neurons firing all sorts of feelings — both real and imagined — through the central nervous system. The B-side—particularly the first two-thirds, repeats the same ethos as the A-side. The same pulse of “Tension Cue” bubbles back up; the Groundhog realizing it can never escape its yearly duty to poke its head through the muck and slush and tell people what they already knew: another bad year is on the horizon. But it’s these small victories where we “embrace the suck” and try to parse its positives which will bring us back to Eye, and hopefully Other Sky. I like to think the “Other Sky” in question is the sunnier, silver-lined one we all wish to gaze upon and not this blustery, foggy veil of misunderstanding and misanthropy that has enveloped much of the globe.

Links: Grapefruit


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