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Eye 2 Eye: Nowhere Highway

Walking down their Nowhere Highway to a point where neo-prog ruled the airwaves, French outfit Eye 2 Eye (nee Eye To Eye) make their mark like an 80s infused outfit ready to unveil a concept of depth and meaning. That it appears to have sunk into a whisky induced coma that takes us on some sort of trip through my homeland of Scotland is an interesting aside I hadn’t anticipated. The album even opens with news clips of failed independence dreams and a gloating Westminster, where the Union lives on in its unequal and unwanted ‘glory’. The music too is dense and deep where the undoubted skills of this outfit are displayed for all to hear with a regularity that defies the sparsity of this band’s catalogue - five albums in seventeen years.

That latter aspect maybe also explains why, to me, Eye 2 Eye seem intent on cramming in as much as possible into each of the six lengthy tracks here. Ideas, motifs and musical interludes jostle for attention as a production that seems to fall too closely to its 80s inspiration in clarity goes some way to muffling the end results. Personally I’ve also found the vocals from Jack Daly to be more gusto over grace and while he does, in places, remind of the majestic Stu Nicholson (Galahad), he does so without the anger or beauty the latter has at his disposal. Brought together, it makes for an album of nearly but not quite for me. Te musicianship on the twenty minutes of “Nowhere Highway” itself being beyond reproach and yet, at its conclusion none of it seems to have taken up residence in my head, with the full on effect that this album seems intent on getting its message across with never quite moving away from being ever so slightly overwhelming.

That’s also a feature of the almost frantic - in feel, rather than tempo - “The Choice” and whether it’s an issue picked up from the intent to create the atmosphere required for this band’s concept to take place, the arm’s length nature that it creates has prevented me from getting under the skin of a release that, in essence, contains a host of elements that really should ensure it’s right up my street. In the end though, I’ve found Nowhere Highway to almost live up to its name, seducing me just enough to put in the hard yards without ever really giving me the impression that I’m any nearer its final destination.

Track Listing
1. Behind The Veil (Ghosts Part2)
2. The Hidden Muse (Ghosts Part3)
3. The Choice (Ghosts Part4)
4. Moons Ago (Ghosts Part5)
5. Nowhere Highway (Ghosts Part6)

Added: February 3rd 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Nowhere Highway @ bandcamp
Hits: 810
Language: english

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