The retro, goth, electro sound of the Eighties doesn’t generally do much for me, I have to admit. There is a tendency for it to come across as overblown and even pompous in its attitude.
However, DEAD EYES OPENED have well … opened my eyes with this four track EP.
The vocal delivery from Spooks is throughout all four songs, quite relaxed. He appears not to be hell-bent on an overly dramatic performance that some bands of this ilk seem to think prerequisite for their genre. All the songs also have memorable hooks to the chorus and therefore they do linger. And best of all, there’s no over reliance on keyboards and synths which can become quite sickly – at least to me certainly.
Opening and title track ‘Believe’ chugs along through the verses on a wave of guitar buoyed by a steadily pounding beat. The vocals had me racking my brain for ages, trying to recollect who / what they reminded me of. I think I’ve now decided that they are like a hybrid Furniture / Fiction Factory. Nice.
‘My Sanity’ has a darker edge to it; and a stomping beat, and an infectious chorus. It comes across as slightly psychotic in its delivery … and it totally works. It’s probably the strongest of the four tracks.
‘Polar’ is a bit more frantic, with zippy sounding synths playing away in the background over the top of a growling bass-line. A minute or so in and the music beefs up a bit while and takes on a more Industrial form and features some great Teutonic sounding guitar riffs.
By way of contrast, the six and a half minutes of ‘Day Of Judgement’ seem more ‘deliberate.’ I’m far being an expert on this style of music, but I somehow relate this track to the sound of Depeche Mode. It could also be the type of song that would an ideal movie soundtrack.
Overall, I have to say this EP pleasantly surprised me, and even if you have an inherent fear of the terms ‘Goth,’ and ‘Electro’ I would suggest DEAD EYES OPENED are well worth checking out.
(Released through Goodtime Gargoyle Recordings and available now.)