Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Inward Eye: Saviours of Rock 'n' Roll? Free music, anyway

A few years back I thought Inward Eye could save rock 'n' roll after seeing them open up for a reformed Urge Overkill. I even wrote a blurb for Chart magazine calling them the band to watch, and the boys signed to J Records in 2005 or 2006 (can't remember exactly, it's been so ... long). And then...nothing. The band did the shake and shimmy with record execs who expected something else than was being recorded, and years went by. The Hold Steady came along and saved rock anyway. And by saving rock I don't mean simply making good guitar/bass/drums-based tunes, those will always exist; I mean a band that makes you want to kiss, kill, drink, scream, start a band, pogo, and do it all over gain. Repeatedly. In a live setting, Inward Eye were explosive, with the guitarist windmilling unabashedly, the singer/bassist aggressive and amused, and the not-so-secret-weapon drummer doing his always-entertaining Keith Moon impression. But it seemed like the album would never arrive.

Now it's here. Actually, it's been available on iTunes for a while, but today the physical artifact entitled Throwing Bricks Instead of Kisses is released.

My first response is that the Winnipeg trio's raucous live presence isn't as easy to feel from the recordings. But that's no different from many other artists. Here's album opener Shame.

Looks like some money is being spent on promoting and marketing Inward Eye from Sham's professional-looking vid. The next videos are performance videos, maybe we can feel a bit more of the live electricity. But Day After Day is a pretty smooth-sounding tune, with silky backing vocals and nice organ fills rounding out the raw noise of a bar show.

You Know I Know captures more of the frenzied desperation we've come to expect from the brothers Erickson. Whiny, breathless vocals, tasty drum fills, some noisy Townsend chords - that's more like the twist on The Who we know and love (of course, the boys probably deliberately ditched some Who influences after they played a bunch of shows with the Moon-less and Entwhistle missing tour).

Inward Eye - You Know I Know (Official Music Video) - Click here for more home videos

Anyhow, there's a free 4-song ep waiting for you at the band's website. You can also hear a few older songs such as Carly, Disaster, and I'll Save Myself if you go here and search Inward Eye (and hey, the band description sounds suspiciously like words I wrote about them many years ago). Finally, here's some real live footage including a version of Smokey Robinson's Tears of a Clown that reminds me of The Who covering Summertime Blues or Shakin' All Over.

1 comment:

Ffejy said...

I saw them open up for Social Disctortion here in Las Vegas. I have never been so proud to be Canadian. What a great live show.