Black Eyes Black Eyes

[Dischord; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: avant-punk, punk, hardcore
Others: Fugazi, Hot Snakes, Blood Brothers, Liars

The Black Eyes’ debut self-titled album has proven to me something that I did not believe in the past. I was a strong believer that first impressions were the solid foundations of any interpretation of an album. But with repeated listens, I have to admit for the first time that this album has grown on me. And I don’t mean that I think this album is all right, I mean that this album is great!

The Black Eyes’ disjointed, rhythmic approach to music may be its most redeeming quality. Each individual musician in this five-piece D.C. band performs with a different percussion instrument to highlight and emphasize his cadenced unification. I always loved bands that had two drummers to enhance their aggressive and pulsating sound (remember Ministry?).  And with their affiliation with Dischord and Ian MacKaye (ah hum…Fugazi), who produced the album, there is enough angry white noise to please any person who feels a little reluctant to throw their arms around the world with love and compassion. And if that's not enough to please you palate, the two vocal styles, a down-tempo growl and the other, an Ad-Rock squealer/screecher on speed, erratically exchange from verse to chorus to verse again. With this vocal formula, they have created a raucous that is equally incoherent and balanced. And with the accompanying and highly addictive rhythm section, the Black Eyes have truly inhabited a personal sound that is infectious and catchy for a hardcore punk record.

So if you dismiss an album after one listen, please give it another try. I did and discovered a truly talented and entertaining band with The Black Eyes. 

1. Someone has his fingers broken
2. A pack of wolves
3. Yes, I confess
4. On the sacred side
5. Nine
6. Speaking in tongues
7. Deformative
8. King's dominion
9. Day turns night
10. Letter to Raoul Peck