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Electric Eye - Different Sun CD (album) cover


Electric Eye


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.92 | 17 ratings

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4 stars Norwegian band ELECTRIC EYE is a fairly new group, and from what I understand they are something of a local super-group consisting of fairly well known musicians all living in or near the town of Bergen. Their debut album was released back in 2013. With "Different Sun" they are ready with the mythically dreaded second album, which was released through Norwegian label Jansen Plateproduksjon at the start of 2016.

I stumbled upon this album by chance myself, when following up on something of a vanity project I have: To list all new albums sorted under the progressive rock tag which is available to by from digital vendor emusic. Not an important task at all of course, but it is interesting for me personally to see the sheer number of albums that in some way or other is marketed directly or indirectly to this niche audience. This new album by Electric Eye was among the recent additions to that list, and after giving it a brief run on Spotify I decided that I needed to get this one. And while emusic couldn't supply me, due to region restrictions, Google music could satisfy my need for instant gratification quite nicely.

As I do spend a fair deal of my spare time reviewing music, I figured I might as well have a go with this one as well, as my curiosity rather demanded that I had a full run through this album. And I have to admit that I am rather impressed by what this foursome have accomplished here. As with many other bands active today this isn't a band out to rewrite the rules of music as we know it, that should be crystal clear, but those who tend to be fascinated by psychedelic and progressive rock might want to take note.

My main impressions are that this is a band very much in love with the psychedelic music of the late 1960's and early to mid 1970's. And then spanning the whole canvas of music described in a psychedelic context from this era, albeit perhaps with a stronger orientation towards the rock based rather than pop based artists in general, and with something of an affection also for music of a more challenging nature in those landscapes. Not that this is an album I'd describe as challenging as such mind you, but there are numerous small details here that indicates that at least some of the guys in this band know their way around music that focus much more on chaotic and freaked out arrangements than those revolving more closely around distinct melodies and harmonic constructions.

So we have a song like Never Fade Away, a piece with a certain degree of hit potential to my ears, but with a sound that makes me feel like describing it as a bastard child of The Doors and late 70's Eloy. The more atmospheric laden concluding track Part One is a creation that would have been a good match for many late 70's Eloy albums as well, although I kind of presume that certain similarities in sound and style in this as well as the former case is more of an accidental thing. The bassist in Electric Eye would probably have a fun time listening to some mid to late 70's Eloy albums though, at least if my ears and my memory makes the right connections when writing this.

Elsewhere the band treats us to their amalgam of 60's and 70's material, some with more of a garage rock feel to them, other with a more clear orientation towards the cosmic aligned and space oriented bands from the 70's, with at times a liberal use of repetitive elements of the kind that was a staple in many krautock bands. Cosmic sounds and effects are at times used extensively too, and here and there there are even some subtle Hawkwind vibes creeping in amidst the more floating and elegant material with arguably more of a Pink Floyd touch to them, if not in sound and expression then at least in approach and spirit. But disharmonious and freaked out instrument effects have their fair and natural place too, adding a subtle touch of psychedelic freakout to the table. That effects of this kind can be included in a subtle manner is, at least for me, rather impressive.

All in all a strong production, and an album that appears to live and breathe tendencies from the heyday of psychedelic and cosmic rock in terms of songwriting, performance, instrumentation and production. If you have an affection for this kind of music in general, and a special soft spot for artists unafraid to explore it in a comparable manner to the ones active in the golden years of psychedelic rock, this is an album that merits an inspection.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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