Talented St. Louis-area trio the Blind Eyes are every bit as good at rollicking bar rock/power pop as it is at more introspective post-punk, and rather than limit itself, the band explores both styles on its sophomore record, With A Bang, trusting that listeners will know which tracks to blare at a cookout and which ones to plunk on the headphones for a listen.
Among the former standouts, the opening title track and “Hermetically Sealed” are bouncy, jangly nuggets reminiscent of Clinton-era Buffalo Tom (always a good thing, to these ears), while “All She Wrote” boasts the album’s best riff and could stand toe-to-toe with the best of circa-‘82 New Wave Power Pop. As for the post-punky stuff, it’s really a matter of singer and guitarist Seth Porter getting a shade darker and more angular, whether he’s wondering “Maybe this is all there is to it… at least we’re not sinking” on “Satisfactory” (surely Porter rues the fact that Death Cab got to the song title “The Sound of Settling” first), or mulling over fate and the universe on “The Nature of the Beast”. Fortunately it all sounds like the work of one band that knows what it wants to do. Just make sure you put the right tracks on the house party mix.