[16 June 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Eyelids is a new Northwest band, but they’ve got a hell of a history already. With Chris Slusarenko (Guided By Voices, Boston Spaceships) and John Moen (Decemberists, Boston Spaceships) front and center, and members who have played in the Minus 5, Elliott Smith, and others, Eyelids has a wealth of experience from which to draw. On the band’s first single, “Seagulls Into Submission”, the players use all that history not to borrow but to shape. The sweet, melting edges of this song, and its b-side (“I Can’t Be Told”), surround a blissfully tight pop song. The vocals deliver the kind of expansive yet frenetic melodies the Clean would deliver, but beefed up with some Spector-sized layering.
And if these songs deliver a haze, they don’t lose the sharp parts in that gauzy whole. “I Can’t Be Told” drives forward on a taut riff that unravels into the ringing chords and (again) big-hearted and open-throated vocals of the verses. The single comes with a digital version of the band playing the Gun Club’s “Sex Beat” live with Steve Wynn and Jerry A, and it’s the perfect complement to these songs. It shows the blood-and-bone band behind these pristine tracks, the live energy coursing through them. This is a brief but satisfying introduction to an exciting new band. Because, despite all the history the players carry around, this feels new, it feels fresh. And it builds anticipation nicely for their upcoming full-length.