Black Eyes - Black Eyes (Cover Artwork)

Black Eyes

Black Eyes (2003)


Williamsburg can have it all.

According to every single media outlet as of late, you can't have the word "funk" nor "punk" ascribed to your band unless you happen to hail from the oh-so-trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. For every Radio 4, however, there are at least 5 non-NYC bands that have been mixing the glass shard guitar of Gang of Four with the ass on the floor groove of Chic. It's true! You don't have to be the Rapture to do it! Just ask Washington DC's Black Eyes.

On Black Eyes, the bands first full length on Dischord, the band galvanize with frantic screams, rocksolid beats, and an inate sense of urgency. But where other bands are happy to wallow in your steady 4/4 rythm, Black Eyes break out the godfather of all musical secret weapons: two drummers and two bassists. Where other bands attempt to mine rythmic gold with just one of each, Black Eyes spin rythms around each other, coiling you in further. Meanwhile the jarring noise of Daniel's (no last names are credited) guitar provides the screaming urgency that keep things interesting.

While the bands schizoid funk does resemble their Dischord forbearers to a slight degree, for the most part its all East Village circa 1982. Lyrically the band runs the gamut of social issues, yet their off-kilter, high pitched whine vs. declamatory shouting keep things interesting. Songs like "A Pack of Wolves" burst at the seams with energy while slower, more experimental tracks like "Day Turns Night" recall old school noise mongers DNA.

Live, Black Eyes could be the hottest thing going. They are a microcosm of energy and pure sweat. Thier shows have been known to transform entire rooms full of inertia prone scenester to get down with their bad selves. So go ahead Williamsburg, have fun with your little friends the Rapture and such, but don't come crying to me when Black Eyes takes their lunch money.