Red Eyed Legends - Mutual Insignificance (Cover Artwork)

Red Eyed Legends

Mutual Insignificance (2004)

File 13

Red Eyed Legends is one of the many projects featuring frontman and guitarist Chris Thomson. You may or may not know him from such Dischord acts such as Monorchid and Ignition, as well as lesser-known (to my knowledge) bands like Circus Lupus and Skull Kontrol. Such credentials for just one man would lead one to believe that any future endeavors would be utterly fantastic; in fact, it's the opposite. Mutual Insignificance is a five-song EP that simply fails to grab the listener's attention.

This EP wants to be a lot of things. It wants to be snotty. It wants to be loud. It wants to rock really hard. It wants you to dance. Unfortunately, what it wants and what we get are two different things. Instead, the whiny keyboards and sloppy musicianship get on your last nerves, and Thomson's lazy delivery of talk-singing is almost headache-inducing, and, at the very least, is rather annoying. That's actually a good word to sum up this effort: annoying.

The five songs here bounce back and forth from garage rock, to (what they would like you to believe is) danceable synth-pop, to angular indie rock, á la the band's Dischord-ian counterparts. "Cold in the Sun," the track which is garnering the most attention, starts off exactly like Bloc Party's "Positive Tension," and breaks into a huge keyboard part which actually does its job: Getting your feet tapping. However, after a minute's worth of the same rhythm over and over, you'll be reaching for the skip button on whichever medium you choose to listen to this on. "Go-Go Girls," the album's lead track, starts off almost like a Fugazi song, but Thomson's vocals quickly destroy any attitude that is created by the music itself, with his entirely off-key wailing of "Ultraviolet rays are my judgement day / 'Much better, thanks for asking' / At least that's what they say…," which, when used with Thomson's delivery, makes the listener want to cringe.

The remaining tracks closely resemble these two songs, and, at the bare minimum, aren't really noteworthy at all.

This is an album suited only for those who really, really enjoy Chris Thomson or for those who are big fans of this style of garage-keyboard-rock. Anyone else will probably find this album almost amateur-ish, which is strange, considering Thomson's track record. With a tightened approach to their songwriting, this band could possibly do some nice things in the future, but until then, we have Mutual Insignificance, and I have a headache.