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Eyestrings: Burdened Hands

First off, let me commend the Michigan quartet Eyestrings on a compellingly graphic band name that's a near-perfect fit for its old-school-meets-new-school prog. But considering that singer, keyboards/trombone player and chief songwriter Ryan Parmenter was regularly listening to Peter Gabriel's third self-titled album (the one with the "melting man" cover) by the time he was two years old, Parmenter's bizarre interpretation of music and life should come as no surprise.

For Eyestrings, Parmenter teamed up with longtime friend Alan Rutter (guitar) and then plucked Mathew Kennedy (bass) and Bob Young (drums) from his uncle's neo-progressive band Discipline. Lo and behold, Eyestrings' debut, Burdened Hands, is a quirky mix of Echolyn finesse, King Crimson chaos and Spock's Beard attitude. The 10 songs here none of them with immediately hummable melodies but all of them containing more words than some people speak in an entire day require your undivided attention, especially the opening 10-minute song cycle "Recovery." Elsewhere, Parmenter's voice takes on a boozy, good-time tone when he sings lines like "Choke your chicken with a hacksaw" on "Slackjaw," and sounds like an unsympathetic Neal Morse-Joe Jackson hybrid on "Time Will Tell," the album's shortest song with one of its boldest choruses: "And you saw how he turned out/With his head blown out on the wall/Remember the sound she made/When the pavement had broken her fall."

On Burdened Hands, Eyestrings takes its off-kilter lyrics and offbeat music and then taps into a vein somewhere inside of you to take a nice long drink.

Track Listing

1) Recovery (10:00)
2) Itchy Tickler (4:05)
3) Dead Superman (6:37)
4) Anachronism (5:42)
5) Funnel (4:28)
6) Just A Body (4:59)
7) Slackjaw (8:45)
8) Nothing (5:09)
9) Time Will Tell (3:36)
10) Empty Box (12:37)
Total Running Time (66:02)

Added: February 26th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Eyestrings Web Site
Hits: 3947
Language: english

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