Tuesday, July 8, 2014

SOFT EYES "Lazy Life"
(Under the Gun Records)


Soft Eyes (solo project of Lukas Goudreault, ex-Mmoss) almost slipped through my fingers, lost back into the cresting river of cassette salmon attempting to spawn upstream with my ears. Soft Eyes, not Bright Eyes or Wolf Eyes, are red and withered; they are unassuming. Soft Eyes isn't music howling for attention with theatrics, rapid shifts in melody, volume and tempo like James Brown or some mathcore cirque du soleil horseshit. The vocals reverberate and sound tonally blissful even though they are incomprehensible. The guitar rhythms repeat until they are transcendent. You gotta sit with the release for a second and let it develop. You're not going to like this album if you have ADD. Everything slowly bends towards the bright side, even the caveman beat rockers like "Lazy Shadow". Then, suddenly, a super gnarly 60ties guitar solo rips and shreds through a blues scale! The drums and percussion are mostly accompaniment, but they range from analog snares, toms to egg shakers and oddly timed frequency bleeps. The music gives off the illusion of being sleepy & tired as made evident in the title of the release, and while it's a "chill" release, it's a smart one too that is anything but lazy. Soft Eyes shows diversity of style and tone. They experiment with successful results. Its loose without feeling amature. It pays homage to psychedelic recording room nonsense, like hooking a microphone up to a phaser pedal to sound like a young, underwater Jerry Garcia dressed up like Neptune shaking hands with an octopus king. Tubular!

There is a nostalgia I feel when I listen to Soft Eyes. It's music from another era played and made with humble instruments and stock, vintage recording equipment. It's rocking while remaining modest. It's endearing without being cute. There is strength in the tried and true melodies of hippie cool dudes past that the cassette exploits without being redundant.

Somewhere between Spacemen 3, the Zombies, Beat Happening, Ty Segall and outer limits Velvet Underground lies the tripped out calm of Soft Eyes. This is an excellent lo-fi garage triumph to be played throughout the world and celebrated. The album has effortless shifts in mood and genre without the overflow of having the album feel heavy handed. You know how they tell you if you wanna get girls you gotta play it cool? Take a cue from the ancient turquoise mask on the cover of this cassette, he sure knows a thing or two! He'll tell you to listen to this cassette, just like me!

All that said, the next step for Soft Eyes is to get those lyrics of his audible. I love home recording cassettes like this (I am assuming it's a home recording) but a little more production and polish would have gone a long, long way on this release. But until then, good stuff here from Soft Eyes. Go Soft Eyes!

http://0softeyes0.bandcamp.com/releases
Buy the cassette here ---> http://underthegun.storenvy.com/collections/118509-utgr-releases/products/6276223-soft-eyes-lazy-life-cassette
PS - Soft Eyes made this sweet youtube mix for you at this website ... http://bdcwire.com/list/8-awesome-solo-records-selected-by-psych-pioneer-soft-eyes/ ... it's pretty sweet

--Jack Turnbull

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