The Red Eyed Legends: The High I Feel When I’m Low

[3 May 2004]

By Kevin Jagernauth

“So… was he cute?”

“Well… he’s got a great personality.”

“A great personality?”

“Well yeah, I mean he’s got this really fiery spirit. Our dinner conversation was really great. He did most of the talking, but still, he was really animated and energetic. I had a pretty good time.”

“What does he do?”

“Chris is a musician. He lived in Washington, D.C. for a while in the early ‘90s, and while he was there he was the singer for two pretty amazing punk bands. The first was Circus Lupus who broke up before they could really take off. I remember hearing about them but never really hearing them. But then he told me he was the singer for the Monorchid and I have to say, I was pretty excited. I really loved that band…”

“Me too! I loved that album… what was it called…?”

Let Them Eat.”

“Yeah!”

“And then they released Who Put out the Fire?, which was equally awesome. So, of course, I had to ask him what he’s doing now since he’s moved to Chicago. And it turns out he’s started a new band.” “Really? What’re they called?”

The Red Eyed Legends. He told me they just released a new EP on GSL outta California.”

“Did he let you listen to the CD?”

“Not exactly. He didn’t want to be there while I listened to it—which is understandable—so he gave me a copy to listen to at home. I gave it a listen, but I’m not sure what I’m going to say to him the next time I see him because I know he’s going to ask about it.”

“Just be honest.”

“I know, I just don’t want to hurt his feelings y’know?”

“But c’mon, it can’t be that bad.”

“It isn’t, but it is pretty disappointing. The first song, “Hamilcus”, is actually pretty good. It sounds like a more straightforward Monorchid song—I really liked it. But then, for whatever reason, there is a weird, like, dub remix version right after it. It sounds pretty awful. The rest of the EP isn’t as fun as the first song, except for maybe the title track, but it certainly isn’t as good as the stuff he was doing with the Monorchid. That band took more chances, was more fun, and just more interesting. The Red Eyed Legends are okay, but without Chris I can’t imagine what they would sound like. The music just isn’t that exciting.”

“Hmmm .... is the artwork cool at least? I remember Circus Lupus and the Monorchid always had interesting album designs.”

“No and that’s the other thing—the artwork is terrible. The cover of the CD has a picture of what looks like a half nude Asian porn star on a fuzzed out black and white TV. And the back of the booklet has a Polaroid of the same girl in color. It’s not even tasteless, just sorta tacky.”

“Are you going to see him again?”

“I think so. He’s a lot of fun to be around, and like I mentioned before, he’s got this crazy energy I really like. But I’m not sure what I’m going to say when he asks what I thought about his new CD.”

“Just be honest, say that without him it wouldn’t be the same.”

“Hmmm … that just might work. Anyway, I gotta go, but I’ll see you down at the Empty Bottle later.”

“Cool. I’ll talk to you later. Bye!”

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/redeyedlegends-highifeel/