Eyes On Film
Sometimes a great band comes out of nowhere and gives you that electric shock.
Eyes On Film have managed to find their own space in the endless avalanche of bands with a rush of great songs driven by the hungry beats of a drum machine that swerves from neo dubstep rhythms to the timeless chug of old skool eighties drum machine rock n rollers. All this is cranked through some wicked distortion and then slashed with a filthy sex guitar that makes the band sound fiercely contemporary with a 21st century urgency.
They then twist this with those kind of hushed shy boy vocals like prime time Jesus And The Mary Chain that gives the whole sound a thrillingly, delicious commercial edge with the right kind of filth to tear it up at the festivals and sneak onto daytime radio.
Eyes On Film make the complex sound simple and put the human into the machine, their songs are gloriously scuzzy and capture the distorted thrill of prime time indie and the incessant jackhammer of dirty electronics, it's a thrilling combination when it's done right and they are the first band to get the balance perfect for a long time.
'This is one of those things where you can be smart after the event but what's brilliant about Eyes is that we found our blueprint relatively earlier and we will get better. We know what our records should sound like now. We create from our limitations and accidents and knowing which accidents happened and why and we use them to our advantage.'
Growing up on the south coast ..... had an unlikely musical head start.
' I grew up in Southampton and started making music when I was 7, playing violin of all things. At first I was into classical music and then 50/60's rock n roll till I was 15. It's weird that I should have ended up playing the violin because I was from a working class family and that sort of thing just didn't normally happen. But my brother brought it home and I ended up travelling the world playing it. Of course when I was 16 I ended up on guitar and started writing songs. And thats when I fell in love with three minute pop songs.'
Drifting up to London he did his crash course in indie rock in the usual slew of dead end bands.
'Id been in a post Libertines sort of band for a bit and when were in a studio recording I remember we were pissed off with what we were doing and wanted to do something different with a different kind of vocal and with imperfect harmonies. We had this idea of merging guitar hooks with analogue drum machines. I had the perspective of making a rock n roll record like a hip hop record- not with its sound but in the way of making the same sort of impact.
We did this track, 'Criminal Mastermind', looping a very straight sample that we had found on Youtube and recorded off headphones and turned that into a track. We are open to everything musically.'
The band may have started in the studio but they are now ready to take it out on the road. There have been riotous gigs as they hone down the live delivery and they are now ready for a March Uk tour and an April single release. They have risen to the challenge.
'I wanted to make the machine sound human. They are meant to be immediate pop songs and be expressive. We don't want it to be a tight arsed collective that play to some cool kids standing there, we want something wilder than that. There's got to be a punk element to what we are doing. We want it to be exciting, particularly live.
When we play live there will be a full band- drums, bass, guitar, I sing the vocals and we trigger the samples which will be running synths as well and as much analogue gear we can get onto a stage as possible. We kind of want to make sure we got the right balance. We love to be a rock show, you can make it sound very dirty and heavy but with dirty electronics as well and a dubby element. With what we are doing here there are no limits.
John Robb 2012