This brilliant and original slab of post-punk, goth, “classic” glam *(ie: T-REX not MOTLEY CRUE), hints of *(again, classic ‘80’s-style – – – though certainly not in the least rehash thereof) industrial, and so much more; this is completely danceable art-damaged goth-rock and wholly unique in its presentation, and came to my attention through the most interesting of ways. A reader of my ode to ROZZ WILLIAMS piece (that day’s current ROSETTA BONES entry), and my previous CHRISTIAN DEATH series from back in October, Mr. IAN REVELL, decided to let me know of his band, DOUBLE EYELID, and I am ever-so-glad that he did. I strongly advised he send a copy for review, after hearing some that he’d sent me streaming. By the end of the week I had the disc *(thank you again, Ian).
*(It was like a little, bubble-wrap enveloped Easter egg.)
Coming from our neighbors up north, Canada, bringer’s of such amazing and classic acts such as SNFU and SKINNY PUPPY, and so many innumerable greats, DOUBLE EYELID was formed in 2009 by vocalist and songwriter IAN REVELL. Influenced strongly by BAUHAUS, DAVID BOWIE, ROZZ WILLIAMS, and SEX GANG CHILDREN, amongst a long list of other great bands and styles, all forming seamlessly together like a unique aural Cronenbergian-mutation to create this modern, infernally compelling modern classic.
The three core members (IAN, KARL, & BENJAMIN), met in the music department at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. They first worked together in the MOHR-fronted project KARL MOHR and the FALLEN ANGELS. MOHR was the vocalist/songwriter of that project, also in the scarlet vein of goth in sound. KARL has since renamed his project DEAD RED VELVET, and can be found at www.deadredvelvet.com.
As for DOUBLE EYELID, after several lineup changes and a variety of drummers, the band decided to go the *(wise) route of the drum machine, both live and in-studio. *(As a musician myself, I can tell you that it’s one less person to fight with, one less to pay, less gear to haul – – – if one can make the drum machine work for them . . . DO IT!). The band transformed from an “arty, post-punk” project to a more goth-tinged sound with their debut single and video, “Dead Is Better,” shot by horror filmmaker STEVEN CERRITOS, and was featured on MuchMusic, Canada’s answer to Mtv *(they must still actually play music there).
Now, as for MY thoughts on the disc itself? From beginning to end, this is a thrill-ride of sounds that borrows bits of the old, mates them with something completely unique and genuinely befitting of its own class, and births them into a haunting world of painful ghosts and ever-hungry, always feeding bleak memories, granting no one caught there, ever, an escape. These pieces are accompanied by beautiful, sometimes aggressive (as the ghost-memories themselves), multilayered tunes carried by the smooth bass and sudden, brilliantly placed discordant piano breaks to accompany these tales of emotionally mutated (and mutilated) loves and lives gone horribly awry. All the while, an element of classy, obsessive sleaze permeates the album. Our narrator knows exactly what he wants within the realms of this surreal, deceptive, and forever cruel world of the most isolated armageddon’s of hell-shattered hearts and souls, and it is not he that is crazy – – – or is it? He Knows not where exactly to look, as everyone is as damaged as the ERASERHEAD-esque character that most hauntingly graces the creepy cover. Fittingly so, as their next video is to the song “Black Box,” directed by Japanese filmmaker KEISHI KONDO, and is purported to have a noir-ish, surreal visual vibe similar to that of the aforementioned film.
MICK MERCER, long-time goth/post-punk fanatic and historian himself hailed this as a classic, and that it was “easily one of the years best.” I’m not often one to fully agree with Mr. MERCER, but in this case he is correct. I can truly say it’s not quite like anything else I’ve come across before. DOUBLE EYELID is an unexpected expansion of a long-stalled, almost stuck in its own trap genre – – – a deep lungful of beautifully perfumed and noxious air.
Some of my favorite tracks: “Diamond Cutter” — A beautiful song with a consistent, relentlessly rising and falling rhythm that does indeed capture the effect of a diamond cutter slowly slicing into one’s heart and soul; “John” — A subtly heavy, gruesome tale of deathbed sorrow, regret, desperation, and loneliness; “Dead Is Better” — Proving there are worse, far more painful things than death (usually love), the heaviness not so subtle this time; There is an amazing cover of ROZZ WILLIAMS band DAUCUS KAROTA’s “The Stranger,” perhaps better than even the original *(dare I say – – – I know, blasphemy! Eh, get over it, slip this in and give a listen, you’ll hear what I mean.); and possibly (lyrically and conceptually, at the very least), “The Hanged Woman” — About that faux-soulmate of total self-absorption and psyche-vampirism, her self-made Ouroboros of a self-perpetuated shitty life that she will never take responsibility for, forever haunting every achingly lonely and dull moment she has fashioned with her own hands. It will always be “someone elses fault,” regardless of situation or circumstance.
Through and through, this album is an amazing journey through all the pains of the heart, mind, and soul, and their driving functions, circumstances, and fall-outs, without any of the hokey hullabaloo that often gives the scene its own bad name. BUY THIS ALBUM, especially if this is your preferred genre (gothic rock), or you just want to hear truly original and experimental, intelligent, danceabley dark glitter-goth-glam. If not, take a chance, it might resonate with you the right way.
DOUBLE EYELID intend to release a Seven Years remix album summer 2015, and are also currently booking a tour for fall, 2015.
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Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/ Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org