The Living Eyes : The Living Eyes
Radio Birdman guitarist and principal songwriter Deniz Tek’s fascination with the imagery of eyes derived in part from a book he read, in which a pair of eyes watched over the evolving world; the body had left this mortal earth, but the eyes continued to see and observe.
To extrapolate the idea to The Living Eyes might not be as far as conceptual leap as you might think: the proto-r’n’b bands of yore are still, sort of, going concerns, albeit in weathered form, but their gaze watches over a new generation of garage bands, including The Living Eyes. Listen to Sitting Sick and you’re in a smoky bar in Tacoma, Washington, watching a bunch of effervescent adolescents strumming dirty r’n’b chords while pontificating on the mundane irrelevance of the adult world; on Wrong Doings you’re skipping down Carnaby Street with the latest Kinks record, and wondering why the fuck it took you so long to realise Ray Davies’ genius.
Down And Out is holding court in a scungy Adelaide bar in the early '60s, the deliciously ironic Heard It All Before is The Sonics’ Strychnine re-told for the umpteenth time, and just as good as everyone else, and Up And At Them is the psychedelic folk imprint of the snotty garage generation. Economy First rides down the back of the plane with Brian Jones’ original Stones and gets right smashed, Outta Doubt jams with Dr Feelgood in a London pub and Slave Labour gets down and dirty in a Mandy Rice Davies sort of a way. Ways To Make A Living does for '60s nostalgia what The Masters’ Apprentices did for English immigration, Stuck In My Own World has instant pop classic stamped all over it and Cry In Shame will bring a tear to your eye, if only you’re tough enough to admit it. Is this 2013 or 1965? When the moments are this good, who gives a flying fuck.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Sitting Sick
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: THE SONICS, STRAIGHT ARROWS, THE KINKS
In A Word: Garage