Grinding Eyes: Grinding Eyes

- Grinding Eyes are a new band hailing from Sydney featuring members of The Mess Hall and Treatment. Their debut, self-titled album comprises nine tracks of garage-flecked, psych-rock. Although the overall sound of the record is familiar, it’s an accomplished and compelling listen. The guitars sound great – heavy but cutting right through the mix, and the songs are well-written, for the most part crackling along with ease.

The fourth track, Read Between The Lines, is a highlight and gives a good example of the overall sound of the record. It’s a slow, heavy burn of a song that progressively layers dirty guitar tracks on top of each other and builds to a cacophonous ending. The atonal, squealing lead guitar that appears toward the end of the track is probably the high point of the album for me. The jammy feel of this track is a consistent feature of the band. Perhaps as a result, towards the end it can all feel a tiny bit samey. I’m betting it goes off in a live setting, but as an album the tracklist might do well with a tad more variation.

Where the album really succeeds is in creating an atmosphere. The band members clearly have a mutual understanding of the sound they’re chasing. There’s a heavy blanket of reverb covering this whole thing, giving it a feel that’s somehow concurrently spacious and claustrophobic. Plenty of credit for the cavernous soundscape must go to the mixing, which was done by Jim Diamond, who’s worked on records by The White Stripes and The Sonics among others.

There’s a short track that appears late in the album called Heavy Dew. This spare, seedy, instrumental country number leaps out from the rest of the record, and maybe it’s a hint at a future direction for the band. Personally, I think exploring these spaghetti western vibes further would be a good move for Grinding Eyes. For now, this self-titled record remains a solid piece of work that I’ll certainly be revisiting.

- Gene Mason.

Album Details

Album Title: Grinding Eyes
Artist: Grinding Eyes
Record Label: (Tym / Off The Hip)