Kodak Ghosts Run Amok
Kodak Ghosts Run Amok
Stuttering synth tunes sound as if they are more underlining the song than being the pace keeper. Nice singing and well-shaped tune in all ways. Very straight optimistic-sounding start for Eyeless In Gaza. No sadness here, perhaps a bit melancholic, but it sounds very fresh and is destined to do so forever. This is more timeless music than the one they later did around 83-85, I think. This sounds like the fresh start of music for a new era and it was, only Eyeless was one of the few consistent bands taking this new road. Today (1999) the bands in general seems like they are still far from catching up on the road Eyeless took almost two decades ago, but they probably are not interested, so let us forget them and talk of Eyeless instead.
China Blue Vision
This song has the most “throbbing” – actually “hard beat” I have ever heard, though it is not very obvious. But, it is basically just a nice song with synth and guitar and some singing. Very typical early Eyeless, I think. It sounds both very “old” and “new” at the same time and is a bit odd in ways, I think. – Nice, but not one of the better Eyeless pieces from the time.
The Feelings Mutual …
Very original and nice synth music piece. The only track Eyeless ever did that could be described as “synth music”. (The synth was never the focus otherwise.) Also, very throbbing and “hard” sound. Martyn and Pete sings a dialogue, it seems like, but the lyrics are totally unrelated … . Very catchy tune. It lacks the nice atmospheres that many of the songs on Photographs as Memories have. It is more subdued here.
Kodak Ghosts Run Amok is clearly a very interesting single and proves the vitality of the band and implies an interesting future for them. Nice cover of a man standing in a train station. On the back side there is a map of the Gaza strip, thus the ambivalence! (Eyeless In Gaza was the title for Aldous Huxley’s famous novel – an expression taken originally from Milton.)
Photographs as Memories
A fresh start of album. Like diving of a cliff into the water. A bit savage like the rest of the album. It seems to be saying: “forget all those worries you might have about doing something – now it’s time to go right ahead and do that!” The song reminds me a little of Tuxedomoon’s first album Half-Mute – maybe it’s the lyrical synth … .
It has that sound that sounds like you are dragging your feet in the sand while you walk … well, it sounds good anyway. Nice singing, a bit different, with also some backing vocals. Features a bit of “crazy saxophone” that you will get more of later in the album. Clearly not one of the best tracks on the album, but still very engaging and quite shifting although it seems a bit too repetitive in a few places. Still a classic piece.
Oh, God how I love this! It is this wild, savage beauty you almost only could get from Eyeless In Gaza – I know of nothing like it for sure. Very short piece, but it seems right. I have no idea of how they get all those sounds – seems like innovative guitar use or something such … . It’s even a bit funky. More of a “wall of sound” here than usual for those early days and also one of the more experimental tracks on the album. It sounds more up-to-date than the two first tracks (that I always thought sounded a bit old).
From A to B
Maybe the most perfect SONG on the album. Very melodic and sounds a bit nostalgic – and this is not because it was done early in the 80ies – it always sounded that way. Indeed I think Eyeless In Gaza sounds less “old” than almost any other music from that period (at least if we talk about songs made then). This is also a song that Eyeless took up and performed later in 1986 live (in the shows supporting Depeche Mode, I believe). Maybe Eyeless will record a new version of this song one day … .
Clear Cut Apparently
A more happy song – it’s really not as sad an album as some reviewers wanted to have it. It may sound rather harsh and desperate at times, but under that surface it’s a rather warm and sweet album. It was far harsher live around that time, and this is really polished enough.
Speech Rapid Fire
Another classic piece from this album. It has stuttering fragile synth tones that make you totally absorbed in the piece. Lovely and lyrical as only Eyeless can be. The warm backing music is only recognised subconsciously for a long time (for most listenings for me).
John of Patmos
I cannot help but smiling widely every time I hear the opening of this piece. It is kind of lovely too, but not in the normal sense. It is probably a very annoying piece to most listeners and it is rather difficult to think the intention was otherwise by Martyn and Pete. – It has that crazy saxophone sound most well explored here and “crazy” singing perhaps similarly. It sounds like they are imitating a chain saw in water with the synth, while singing of St. John. It is rather funny however and shows Eyeless at their most eccentric side, perhaps.
Knives Replace Air
One of my all time favourite Eyeless songs. Although, Martyn think of this (and other on the album) as cathartic for him (which might be rather obvious after all). I think this might also have such a function for the listeners. Despite that or because of it, this piece is desperately lyrical, melodical and musical in all ways. I would like to describe it as someone once described some of Rachmaninov’s work “as nailing you to the floor (or wall? …)” It is that kind of feeling of lovely tension and being one with the music that happens at some of the best passages throughout Eyeless In Gaza and Martyn Bates’ works. It is that feeling of “I care about this; this is what I want; this is a value worth fighting for; right and wrong matters; my life matters; etc.” I always think of walking up in the hills around Inverness in Scotland when I was 15 while listening to this music – that was by incident the same year this album was done and I then had no clue that any of this music existed. But it is that feeling of happy solitude that one can be overcome with while wandering around in almost desolate landscapes and feeling like being one with the sky and … . “Singing to wildsky … .”
Another memorable song on this album. This is another song that Eyeless took up in 1986 and sung in a slightly different way. But this was already wonderful as it was. This is a typical example of how good Eyeless is of making full songs that could last even less than two minutes. Faceless is 2.13 and still it feels like you have entered a musical universe on it’s own and become familiar with it despite the brevity in actual time (the “psychological time” that has elapsed seems to be far longer in duration).
In Your Painting
Well, this piece must be one of the more dark and gloomy pieces. It is a bit rawer than most others are. Still it is easier to remember than Faceless – it took me years to realise just how good Faceless was, but this song was one that stayed with me from the first listenings. It is easy to feel a bit angered while listening to it (not at the song, of course) – a bit similar to how one could feel listening to some of the early Legendary Pink Dots songs, like the ones on The Tower. Still this is a very good song.
This piece is one I always forget about – maybe because it sounds a bit like it’s an “in-between” song. It’s rather hilarious though, but not one of the better on the album. It also has that chain saw sound from John of Patmos – I think it sounds a bit “jolly” (funny). If you try and consider whether Eyeless had fun creating these pieces, I guess you will become even more sympathetic to them! ;-)
This is hilarious in all ways – maybe one of the most ingenious pieces early Eyeless ever created! Rather “improvisational” and innovative (Eyeless did not at all ever sound like any other music – analogies with other music will always be a bit difficult to make convincingly). The musicality is breathtaking, considering how experimental it comes across and this is later to be perhaps the hallmark of what makes Eyeless so unique – their ability to make melody and experimentation meet in perfect harmony. Even more distinct is their unsurpassed ability of expressing emotions and moods in such diverse and convincing ways that it is truly mind-boggling.
What could one say … . This is my favourite whistling tune ;-). This sound (I think it is the tree block in the drum kit) – this “knocking on wood”-sound that keeps the pace of the song make the song sound as if was a song to be played on sunny beaches – and I like that idea. This song sounds more relaxed in all ways (almost as if they were tired after work or something like it), but it’s quite deceptive as it has a very distinct nerve in it. Totally engaging and so very “musical” (is there a way to measure such a thing? …) – this really proves why Eyeless has to be an important part of the history of Western music.
The album as a whole is a masterpiece and is one of the albums one could listen to over and over again without getting tired. The only possible problem could be the shoddy sound quality of the vinyl (even if even that seems to make sense given the rather “unpolished” and wild nature of the music) – hopefully a CD re-release will soon surface based on the original master tapes. The album gains very much from the superb cover, the images of which always seems to accompany the listening experience for me. The nice glossy yellow/orange/white/black front cover with the picture of a woman standing by a sea with a child in her hands. And the many, almost identical, pictures of Martyn and Pete walking down a barren road on the back side and Martyn’s distinctive and original hand style: extremely angular but nice. I actually write my own signature inspired by this cover since 1984 (I think it was).
Perspectives & Distortion
The first song I heard with Eyeless In Gaza. At first I only thought it was odd, but so was many other tracks as well for me on that album back then. The light simple organ, playing rather minimalistical throughout, very much attracted me and I became much more attached to the song later on. It still remains one of my absolute favourite Eyeless tracks and is destined to remain that. It has that atmospheric experimental sound woven into a strange song, that sometimes seems so serious and sometimes seems rather unserious (esp. the ending…). There’s no way you could understand what Eyeless is about without having heard this song, I think. [I am overstating things again, but … ;-).]
A song that seems a bit like a development of China Blue Vision – anyway it has a similar instrumentation. It surely doesn’t sound like a “hit single”; it has a rather savage sound although it is nonetheless rather sweet. Lyrical and pretty good song.
A very original piece and really lovely. It has those nice synth tones that sounds like something that would be perfect listening to while walking through a city at night and all being sweet. Though, it makes perfect sense right now also – now it’s a cloudy afternoon/evening and one could sense a faint chill in the air although it’s almost still. The track is a bit funky. It’s funny but still could be listened to as if it is a solemn and quite serious piece.
Plague of Years
A good, short and rather typical Eyeless song. The back side of this single is the one containing the real value. The same goes for, I think and as we shall see, the next single Others.
Nice cover in black and white with a photo of the Eyeless guys looking rather serious.
Caught in Flux
One of the truly classic Eyeless tracks. Eyeless brings you “nature direct” – it is as if you came closer in sensing things (maybe that’s the reason for the title…). However, this is not quite what happens … it is difficult to analyse music, but music never conveys nature directly, it never has a message unless someone claims something in the music (but then that is not really part of the music – it’s more like something attached to it). The music shares with you a way of coming at the world – ways of thinking, feeling and experience life in general. I have found that it is usually easier for me to understand the attitudes of people enjoying similar music to myself. There is of course no agreement on any issued guaranteed for this reason alone, but music is still powerful (and art in general) even if it may often only be privately. This is also an aspect of Eyeless music – it tends to get you thinking about other things than what you are listening to … . This is however one of Eyeless all time greatest songs.
Most songs on Caught in Flux are more harsh-sounding, than Sixth Sense and closer to Photographs as Memories. But the songs on CiF are more “emotional”, more “involved” in some fashion … . This song goes very well with the cover photograph (a waterfall). Otherwise I think of this album very much as an album of “winter music” … .
Voice from the Tracks
This piece nicely shows why Martyn impossibly could have gone on forever singing like this … . Ravaging singing and savagely executed in all ways. It’s very much from tracks like this one that the album got its title. No space to stop – it is as if they just had one chance of recording the song and it is most likely also the first studio take (I think this was very much how they worked with this album – and it seems like a good idea).
This song is very much dependent upon the mood one is in while listening to it – sometimes (like now) it could be irritating to you (maybe it’s because I’m not relaxed right now). But at other times this track is gorgeous. I remember listening to it around February 1999 and it was so joyful – so full of a youthful spirit (see Martyn’s comments for P.S. for Michael with Orange Ice & Wax Crayons for a better description of the feeling). One of my favourite tracks on CiF.
Sounds like you’re in a snowstorm … . A bit chilling sound generally and somewhat aggressive; makes your pulse tick a bit faster. The drumming (the small one with the hard sound) and voice is in the forefront here.
Another great little piece. Very, very intense and very touching. A typical “winter song”, I think. Try walking some empty unlit forest road in the dark when there’s a few decimetres of snow around while listening to this and I think you will agree … . Lovely!
Soul on Thin Ice
Maybe something to listen to while skating around on ice. Another funky track. (Seems to fit good with Speech Rapid Fire … .) Cool singing as well!
Rose Petal Knot
One of the songs on the album that may stand best on it’s own (together with Sixth Sense, rather obviously). Otherwise the tracks on CiF are difficult to treat separately from the rest of the tracks – I know of no other album which has such big merits as an "album" as this album and still has so few tracks that could stand competition with Eyeless tracks elsewhere on their own. This track is more well-crafted it seems like, but still very much “Caught in Flux-sounding”. This is happier also, I think (though I think most of this album is rather happy). This was the first Eyeless album I bought back in 1983 and I always got happy after listening to it. When really sad I know that almost only this album could be sure to bring joy back.
A very good track with wild singing and funny guitar work. Rather intense (as almost always…). Great!
This is another great song – more atmospheric than most other pieces on the album. It has a clock (or maybe metronome) ticking throughout – very nice actually. The title sort of suggested to me that it might have been a “political” piece. This is obviously not true and I don’t know of any of their music having such things implied. Maybe the “vibes” of the music suggests it is not pro-fascism & pro-communism, but all such considerations are probably only guesswork by listeners. So no more comments on this. The song is beautiful and that is the important thing.
Yes … “intense” was the word! “The exhilarating feeling of transition, the tumult of ideas and approaches”, Martyn writes on the back of the CD edition. This is a very apt description of the album and comes particularly to my mind in listening to this track. A bit angry sounding perhaps, but lovely.
Every Which Way
I am not particularly happy with this track. It sounds like performing it was a heavy burden and it is quite mixed: not very beautiful, but still has such ambitions … . I like the “sound” though and it’s an okay ending of the album anyway. It is a fine track I wouldn’t want to be without, but no favourite of mine.
The Eyes of Beautiful Losers
The Eyes of Beautiful Losers
This is the first track from the bonus 12”Ep that only came with the original edition of CiF I got it first two years later myself. This 12” is much more interesting than the Lp in many ways – here all the tracks stand out and are generally more beautiful, like this track. This is truly a real Eyeless In Gaza track if you ask me – this is what I would regard as an essential “Eyelessish” song (without text but with vocals throughout) that most properly distinguishes Eyeless from the rest of the music world. This is the kind of track that makes you a devoted Eyeless fan forever – at least it has such a potential. One of my favourite Eyeless tracks, though it may not very often qualify for inclusion on a “best of” album. Very spacious, melodic, fragile and all that.
Well, will my praise have no end? No, it does not seem so … . This might be one of most well-crafted pieces of early Eyeless (80-81). The singing here is almost never equalled elsewhere down through Eyeless history (and trying to find some other singer matching this is just plain silly). Very fragile, very beautiful, very dynamic, very good. (Maybe one day I will be able to think whether they made use of instruments and how … .)
Out from the Day-to-Day
A very catchy tune – funky, fun and good. Nice use of glockenspiel … and drumming. Full speed ahead here again.
Very inventive track that makes use of much environmental sound collages it seems like. Very energetic track while still relaxed in some way. A typical ambivalent track that pays to listen to many times.
Very nice concluding track. A bit celebratory and confirming of accomplishments. Almost cute! Very neatly composed and executed.
Beautiful black and white photos adorn the sleeve, inner sleeves (on first release) and labels on the records. They give the music an extra context that is hard for me to detach from my appreciation of the music. These photos were fortunately used also for the CD re-release.
Zink Zamler Magazine
Veil (first version)
A fine first version of Veil Like Calm which is slightly rougher and has a nice ending. It is somewhat shorter also. A very “tight” song like so many back then – very successful.
A very early “beta-version” of the spirit of the songs on Rust Red September perhaps. Well, I would prefer this slightly rougher song to the Rust Red ones – this is really good but I have always had trouble remembering the song nonetheless (it is slightly faceless, I think). Vintage Eyeless no doubt. Still not one of my absolute favourite tracks. This is one of the earliest tracks with a pronounced “softer” sound to it.
One of the most important aspects of Eyeless’ music lies in their distinct way of making improvisations. There is a lot of experimentation in the music of Eyeless – one could even argue that it is at the base of their whole approach to music-making. Never, however does Eyeless venture into experimentation as a way to show off, or for it’s own sake. Always, the experimentation is distinctly “musical” (almost always melodical, if not explicitly then so by implication) and never “abstract” like so much modern experimentation. The experimentation is directed at creating a musical experience – the music still evokes emotions of a very wide variety and the pictures of ones past. This little piece is something like the first part of Avenues with Trees. It reminds me of walking in orchards, very beautiful and fragile.
Eyeless are being funny and breaking up the blissfulness created by Jane, Dancing. But this is not in vain – this is actually one of better short song of the early days. Very “tight”, “snappy” (?) and hilarious singing – “hideous separation”! ;-)
Avenue with Trees
Oh, how beautiful (sorry for using the word so often, but objectivity demands it …). Bells are introduced here. Eyeless makes you perceive nature more focussed: makes you see the beauty of all around you and perhaps in you too (perhaps even more so…). Eyeless makes you love life in a solemn, but happy way (at least the potentiality is there)! This music is indeed more profoundly happy than most music that comes across in a lighter and more “outgoing” happy way (like Eyeless Back from the Rains album for instance). One of my absolute favourite tracks from Eyeless.
Not the greatest cover art perhaps.
Talking Mythic Language
The legendary flexi single that came with an issue of the Dutch music magazine Vinyl. It was also later released on a compilation Lp featuring the highlights from many of those early flexis. (I have never seen the Lp though … .) It is a very intensive and lyrical piece that has a bit of that “mythic sound” (featured for example, stripped from a song context, in the Sun-Like-Gold work). Thankfully this song will soon see a re-release on the new retrospective album ‘Mythic Language; Summersky Blazing’. The drumming is very prominent in this song. It sounds a bit “old” – not dated, but “old” – I believe it has always done so. Really good!
For Edward etc. [Tago Mago]
A lot of glockenspiel on these pieces. A lot of experimentation. Atmospheric, mythic, moody landscapes you may never had encountered before even in your dreams. Imagination plays wild in you. It is all rather dreamy: interesting dreams … . Sometimes I think of these tracks as Christmas music – maybe there’s something to it … . Feels like running through a forest in the night not knowing quite where you are and still being somewhat comfortable with it while at the same time having a faint feeling of fear, exhilaration, expectation, thinking very focussed, feeling the fresh air around and not really wanting to be elsewhere.
More claustrophobic, more inwardly, a bit more scary. They seem to being using sheets of metal to create some of the sounds. Almost a bit funny at places … .
Crêpe Paper Heart
Seems like their working with copper plating of your roof … ;-). Perhaps my favourite of these tracks. It is more dramatic and functions a bit better as a more integrated composition. Nice, but somewhat disturbing perhaps.
Reminds me of those old clockworks from the Renaissance and later. I heard parts of an album of recordings of such mechanical clock/bells works some time ago and it was rather charming. [This is really an instrumental version of Street Lamps ’n Snow as another Eyeless fan pointed out to me. Martyn also mentioned to me (the rather obvious, as it should have been to me) that Street Lamps ’n Snow (Orange Ice & Wax Crayons album) was previously called ‘November’ … . It was also released as ‘Silver and Dark’ on the tape version of Pillows and Prayers.]
A fine release that might be re-released soon in a reworked version as Homeproduce/Country Bizarre. The tape also contained some nice tunes from Lol Coxhill and one of the earliest discographies I know of for Eyeless.
Pale Hands I Loved So Well
Tall and White Nettles
This album was my favourite album for more years than any other has been. Maybe it is still my favourite – I cannot decide on this any longer, but I tend nowadays to mention Martyn Bates’ Mystery Seas (Letters Written #2) instead. This first piece is one of my favourites on this album, thus I obviously think it is great. It takes you away at once and is so evocative of the pictures in you, the splendour of situations, places that you have been at strikes you now, even if you only was aware of this subconsciously while you were there experiencing it the first time. This is perfect, even though in retrospect it might come across like an odd opening of an album. Thinking of the album’s pieces makes clear, however, that it is perfect.
Warm Breath, Soft and Slow
Hard to describe, partly because it is difficult to focus on writing while listening to it. It really is powerful, atmospheric, mythic, lyrical, improvisational with scattered voice. Very gripping. Lovely.
One of two songs on the album – both absolutely beyond belief, so perfect, so beautiful. I don’t think you should listen to this song on high volume (it always sounded as if it was recorded on a bit lower volume than the tracks around it too). Melancholic, I must say – but there’s nothing wrong with that. Lovely piano! “Watery piano” … .
Furious. Like being out on a stormy sea, fearing to crash onto cliffs, perhaps … . Perfectly lovely as well.
Falling Leaf/Fading Flower; Goodbye to Summer
One of my dearest tracks. Seems very annoying at first – sounds like a big ship is passing by insistently announcing its passing with the whistle foghorn. But do not focus on that sound – just listen to the piece as if it somehow was part of you. It seems like a test for how deep your love could be. The title is not misplaced.
Lies of Love
This is the only track on the album that I don’t like very much. It is okay, but I can’t quite get along with the track … . It seems tumultuous at first, though it nicely fits in with the preceding songs. But, then later the voice inclusions are rather dispelling … .
Could this be “gothic” music (I once wondered) – the only way I could see Eyeless be so categorised. The “problem” is that this beautiful short organ piece is very light, uplifting and sort of “open-minded” – all things going counter to what I have come to believe goes under the term “gothic”. But let us forget such terms, they usually only tells more about the person using them than about what is described anyway. It is somewhat annoying that this piece is standing so alone on its fragile own – it seems unimaginable that Eyeless shouldn’t have done more pieces in this vein, still it remains a mystery that this is indeed the only of its kind. Great!
This is the other piece on the album that I’m not full of praise for, but it is still a gem! I think it is very funny and it IS annoying (no way you could deny that …). I fail to get moved very much by the piece and wonder if anyone really gets … . It is very cool actually and is in itself like a showcase for the ingenuity of the experimental aspect to Eyeless works. It seems like a piece that will occupy your curiosity for a very long time of your life. There is something nice about it, but it is difficult to pin down. (It features “crazy sax” heavily as with ‘John of Patmos’ on Eyeless first album.)
Letters to She
Gregorian chant begins and ends this long and lovely track (thus continuing in the vein of ‘To Ellen’). I believe this is the most overlooked track on this album. Waves of organ sound without any discernible notes – it is like an organ playing a long note for several minutes and integrates the voices and other improvisations. It is very difficult to explain why it can sound so beautiful (and I suspect a lot of people will not regard it that way either … but people are often difficult to understand anyway, so … ).
This alone should have gained Eyeless all the Grammies ever to be awarded, but who cares about greatness these days … not the ones in the cultural establishments anyway, for certain. I’m not going to describe this song – if you care at all about the music of Eyeless you either already has it or will get it. “… nothing has the power …”
Big Clipper Ship
This used to be my favourite piece of all in the world – maybe it is ‘Twilight Walking’ nowadays, but it is forever in my heart. The most emotion-evoking piece I know of. It is really difficult to try and figure out how they managed to get it this way. It is actually the guitar work that is the most important part – only Eyeless could think of using their guitars like this. Whatever one could say about the track, it is however absolutely perfect in all ways.
I got myself a CD player back in 1987 with a faint hope of seeing this album being re-released on CD as the sound was not extremely good on the Lp. 10 years later my dream came true, only to be shredded by the mishandling of the album by Cherry Red, putting it as a sort of “bonus” after Drumming the Beating Heart on the CD and distorting practically all tracks so it is totally impossible to listen to it (or at least to be able to appreciate it). One can only hope it will someday be released properly. [This is of course only my private thoughts … . I am really happy for the work Cherry Red have done at other times for bringing Eyeless music out to such a wide audience.] The album cover was also great for Pale Hands I Loved So Well and it featured some Norwegian translation of the lyrics to ‘Blue Distance’ (the album was licensed to the Norwegian label Uniton). It had orange coloured labels on the disc that looked very “right”. All in all a masterpiece!
A piece that is somewhat similar to the Full Sail track ‘Red Letter Day’ (Another Spark compilation tape). Here is an organ playing an extended tone throughout instead of the piano on Red Letter Day. This is more reflective and relaxed than Letters to She, to which it might also be compared and also has a much warmer feel. Very nice!
Who else had even thought often doing something like this? The creativity of Eyeless is difficult to fully comprehend. It’s that kind of warm, out in the countryside, mouth-organ piece. It is the “mythic language/sun-like-gold” type of music. Very charming and feels very real and meaningful – certainly not something to be dismissed as a less important piece.
Drumming the Beating Heart
A classic song, which may be the song that Eyeless performed live most of all. It is damned good, but is not among my own most favourite tracks. It sounds a bit “forced” to my ears. But it is jolly nice to listen to in the middle of the day when it is raining – it almost makes you long for rainy weather! There is no bad weather – only Eyeless tracks that are not for that weather … so change tracks and the weather will be good again! ;-) The song features wild attacks on the organ by Eyeless, all resulting in a bitter-sweet song.
The first side of the Lp contained the more savage songs and the other the more ardent ones. This is a beautiful and somewhat chilling song. Improvisation makes it very alive and interesting. Classic stuff.
One by One
This album is more suited than any other album as a kind of “reference album” – it contains all the most important aspects of Eyeless and packaged ideally in really good tracks throughout the album. This track is a bit different again – it is somewhat lighter and more like the tracks on the other side of the album (which starts with ‘Two‘ – the titled confused me for long time, since I thought it merely announced side “two” …). Martyn sings somewhat properly, but in a very high tone … . It is still very fine – morning music, perhaps.
Picture the Day
Sounds very savage – almost close to early Virgin Prunes (’Moments and Mine, Despite Straight Lines‘), though more handsomely. One of my favourite tracks on this great album.
Dreaming at Rain
I think this is the track that makes this album as important in the Eyeless history as it is. Now I am unfortunately listening to that “#€%#€%*” CD re-release and notice that this track was also massacred by our dear Cherry Red (+ ‘Before You Go’ + the whole Pale Hands I Loved So Well album, actually are all tracks distorted on my first pressing copy of both albums). However, this is such a gripping improvisational piece, you are bound to end up daydreaming … . Really passionate and up among the best tracks from Pale Hands I Loved So Well. It has a pulsating watery sound throughout and features very inventive guitar playing among other things. No voice though.
More outgoing. One of these nicely worked out, tight and rather short songs. Very good, very straight and almost normal singing – thankfully not perfectly so. A song that I tend to forget … .
Veil Like Calm
The single song and the first Eyeless song that a video was made for. Very perfected. Quite nice. Not one of my favourites.
Throw a Shadow
This, on the other hand, is definitely one of my favourites! Very simple organ, voice and drum sticks striking some hard material(?) helping to hold the pace. A very fragile-sounding piece. Perfect singing.
Very nice and happy. Heavy use of background voice. Still with a nerve as usual … .
At Arms Length
What is Martyn really singing about, well … I don’t think so much about it. [But Martyn will be happy if you do! :-)] Actually I like Martyn’s choice of words very much – it never come across to obvious and thus don’t interfere with the music, but rather co-operates with it as just another instrument, albeit a powerful one! Great song – maybe it also sounds a bit too “forced” at times … but maybe I don’t listen with my heart fully open … I don’t know.
Lights of April
This is a song that should be on anyone’s “best of” list. It is so perfect. Very nice singing, bells, organ, background voice – all coming together in perfect harmony. Music for walking by streetlights and homes in the night.
Before You Go
Uncommonly relaxed song for Eyeless. Another night music piece. I don’t know why, but I always think of copper when listening to this and the previous track – yet another thing to associate music with – metals … odd. The greatness of this track is only obvious if you have heard the full track from Lp. I have felt a bit ambivalent about this piece previously, but now I always like it a lot when I listen to it. Nice ending of the album.
I always loved the cover of this album – especially the bluish French pressing that I have (I noticed much later that the original English pressing had an almost black cover – very dark blue anyway). The blue labels on the black vinyl also look very nice. A fine photo also of Eyeless bent over an organ in a church (looks best on the Lp). This album is the most “complete” Eyeless album from the 80s in terms of the many fundamental ways of the Eyeless repetoire.
Veil Like Calm
Veil Like Calm
(see Drumming the Beating Heart)
Taking Steps (early version)
Really nice – just like the version on Rust Red September. This is a bit faster and almost aggressive. Even more “tight” – like the earlier Eyeless songs usually were.
Rust Red September
I think most songs of this album are more like early Summer/late Spring music than “September” music … . This holds true for this one. This is a very good song: it is very perfect and the singing is nice and benevolent – like this album is in large. It is more “cute” music here than anywhere else on Eyeless records. Tambourines are featured prominently (can’t find them listed in the instrument section though). Very complete music as if it were a “full” band playing.
Pearl and Pale
Everything seems so natural and spontaneous. Very perfect music, for what it is. A rather powerful song that is sure to evoke some memories of situations – like walking out on a sunny Spring day … .
The single/video song. Yes, it is very good – no doubt. It seems slightly rushed and not as relaxed as most songs on the album. A bit too repetitive also (for my taste). The video was also nice, with Eyeless travelling with an English channel boat … .
A rather dense piece. More Autumn-like … “you and I, September weather, coming rusty-red”. A “rushing” piece, but nice.
Hey, this was better than I remembered it … . This Cherry Red CD re-release was actually rather well done – recommended! A nice and snappy, clever song.
Rather unsurprisingly my favourite track on the album. Heavy atmospheres! Splendid guitar work. That “spindling guitar” that I have never heard from any other musicians … . I think this is the song that should have ended the album, but … [it ended side A of the Lp].
Leaves are Dancing
Another nice song. A bit anonymous as much of the album tends to come across – I really had to listen many times to the album to be able to fairly well remember the songs … . (I have heard that a lot of other people have experienced it similarly as well.)
No Perfect Stranger
Well, this is perhaps the easiest song to remember on this album because of its very jolly, upbeat and overly happy sound. It is cool though, even if it could get on ones nerves at times … . Great! Heavy use of drums and cymbals for this occasion.
Corner of Dusk
This is also an Autumn piece. Almost whispering vocals. Very smooth and calm. Good.
Bright Play of Eyes
Great and very perfect, again. That “coppery feel” again. (The leaves on the Lp album cover was “copperized” – maybe that has something to do with it or the special sound from the cymbals … .)
It would have been more original to begin the album with this piece … . A very good, slow and introspective song. Maybe a bit overbearing at times.
I think many like this album because it so finely crafted thought-out, unlike most of Eyeless other early works. When I listen to it now it doesn’t sound very typical like music from the 80ies, but I know this album in particular sometimes comes across sounding like typical early 80’s nice pop/new wave. (Maybe it is because I am listening to it with headphones.) But I think we can regard it as yet another timeless artwork from Eyeless.
Extra tracks on the CD re-release
Oh, thankfully one of these wonderful improvisational pieces again! The “mythical” sound par excellence. Sounds a bit “tip-toeing” … like in a dream.
A masterpiece – one of my favourite Eyeless tracks. “It’s her golden hair which shines in the Summer, like the Summer.” Very nice poetry by Shannon Smith (read by her to the accompaniment of fabulous Eyeless music), starting and ending with mouth-organ improvisations. A track that really should be regarded as a very important part of what Eyeless is about! Soon the instrumental version of this piece, a bit different, will be released on ‘Mythic Language; Summersky Blazing’.
To Elizabeth S.
Great improvisational piece a bit reminding of ‘Dreaming at Rain’ as it has that pulsating sound. Also features organ. Very “mythic-sounding”. (Originally published as the third part of a “Sun-Like-Gold” three-part work on the Myths vol. 1 compilation on Sub Rosa.)
Lilt of Music
This and the next two songs published originally as side two on the Sun Bursts In maxi-Ep. Very original slow drumming and singing piece. Really good and atmospheric. Short and tight. Belongs more with the Drumming the Beating Heart songs (just like the songs on the second side of the New Risen maxi-Ep, I think).
Inky Blue Sky
Similar in style to the ‘Scent on the Evening Air’ piece on the back of the New Risen maxi-Ep. Minimal organ in the fashion of ‘You Frighten’ but in a much sweeter context. Extremely moving and atmospheric – one of my absolute favourite Eyeless tracks (maybe the lyrics is bit “off” to my senses, but … the singing is great).
Sweet! (“Sweet” for England is like the word “big” for America, it seems like – no single words seem to say more by themselves of these two countries.) Soothing, almost like a lullaby. Slow acoustic guitar and singing slightly echoed. Quite good.
Sun Bursts In
Sun Bursts In
The first straight pop song from Eyeless. I think it is very successful and it really sweeps the floor with other artists trying to do this kind of light and happy pop. Still Eyeless could make better music than this. I think it is fine that they did this “show off” in this area of music, but it was also heading them down a blind alley, which they thankfully have returned from for good it seems like. Eyeless pop tunes are sweet like few though, so it is rather nice to have a couple of them.
Lilt of Music
Inky Blue Sky
(see Rust Red September CD)
(Eyeless appeared as Full Sail)
Lovers Spit & Kiss
(see ‘Old Lime Quarry’ on Orange Ice & Wax Crayons album)
Red Letter Day
Reflective piano and voice. I like this piece very much – seems like the kind of thing you would want to hear in an old and quiet house with old nice furniture. There is indeed something old-fashioned romantic in much of what Eyeless does and I am sure that is part of why I enjoy it as much as I do.
Back from the Rains
Between These Dreams
An acapella thing. Okay. Makes sense if you put it in a loop like I’m doing when listening to it … .
Easygoing pop. No one will get very angry at you for putting this on at a party – not quite like putting on John of Patmos or your favourite track of Pale Hands I Loved So Well. A bit too repetitive perhaps. Don’t play this track over and over! Nice.
Back from the Rains
A finely crafted song. Not a favourite of mine though. The song has nearly nothing of all that is good with Eyeless otherwise – but it still has some kind of lazy Summer afternoon atmosphere, which could be pleasant at times.
Lie Still, Sleep Long
Lie back in the grass and think of something else, then maybe this could be right. Good intentions, but it somehow falls a bit flat, I think.
I kind of like this … maybe it’s the singing, because it doesn’t have much else worth mentioning … . Very ordinary song – okay. Will it end soon? …
This is one of my favourites on this album. It sounds like “evening music” … . Still not extremely good.
She Moves Thru the Fair
Acapella song, but this is a really good one! Maybe wedding music? … Beautifully sung.
Sweet Life Longer
Well, I am clearly not a fan of this … . Did they really have to release this? – Boring pop. Kind of sweet perhaps, but there is nothing much more to it – hey that’s what the title says also … .
New Love Here
This is one of two worst Eyeless tracks (the other being ‘Early Empty Lanes’). ‘Sweet Life Longer’ is third from the bottom. Repetitive pop with a stupid rock touch to it. I would never have missed this track if it had been left out.
This is better, even if it is in the same vein as the above, since this is tighter and more snappy, more fun and less repetitive. An okay try at doing a hit song. I think this is the only song I have heard on radio too by Eyeless. Quite good, indeed. Ridiculously happy, perhaps, but that could be refreshing at times.
Your Rich Sky
Another of my favourite tracks on this album – I think I may like this most. Very lovely late summer afternoon atmospheres! Less poppy too! Really proves the album have some merits after all. Almost a jazz feeling is possible to apprehend.
Flight of Swallows
No, this ain’t any good.
My Last, Lost Melody
A fitting, rather anonymous end of the album. Just a jingle really. No vocals.
Extra tracks on the CD release
Bright Play of Eyes
(see Rust Red September)
Scent on the Evening Air
Really good track in the vein of ‘Inky Blue Sky’ (and possibly ‘The Eyes of Beautiful Losers’). This is a bit experimental with much background sounds accompanying a minimalistic and totally wonderful organ. This song is one of my favourite Eyeless tracks.
Drumming the Beating Heart
Also a favourite. Obviously this should really have been added to the CD re-release of Drumming the Beating Heart. Organ and voice. Sounds very spacious. Really nice!
I think it is the least good album by Eyeless, although it has some merit in its late sunny Summer sound and fitting cover artwork. If you like Eyeless for their pop songs, this is obviously an album to get your hands on. I also think all Eyeless fans would not want to be without this as it really adds to a nice picture of Eyeless whole career so far.
Kiss the Rains Goodbye
Back from the Rains
(see Back from the Rains)
Far Lands Blue
Very poppy, but quite good. Catchy and extremely sweet. Rather uninventive backing music though.
Catch Me, Count Me, Catch Fire
Instrumental piece in the vein of the ‘Catch Me’ track on Back from the Rains. Ok.
Orange Ice & Wax Crayons
Ways of Rachel
Stunningly beautiful! All is right here. A typical Eyeless song, though it is still one of its kind. Clearly criminal neglect to have a song like this delayed for release that long (it is from Autumn 1984). One of Eyeless best pieces of music ever. Maybe in the vein of ‘Lights of April’, but this song has a fuller sound.
Pop, but extremely good such! I like the light, fresh sound. Pop that is emotionally moving is not common, but this is Eyeless style.
What I Want to Know
Must be the most perfect pop song ever done on this planet. A little melancholic. Totally irresistible. If there is reason to like pop, this is the reason. This should really have been released as a single – would have been nice in the imaginary Eyeless jukebox. (Early 1985)
Old Lime Quarry
Very beautiful experimental piece. Hard to describe, but the title seems apt.
All Lone Hours
A funny tune. There is simply no other Eyeless song that sounds so … self-confidently happy. This is a song to sing along to and clasp your hands to – really! – you better believe it! It is a fine and fun little track.
Street Lamps ’n Snow
Also called ‘Silver and Dark’ and ‘November’ earlier. Very successful and beautiful improvisation. Very good singing especially. Some nice “mythic” flute and bells makes it sound like a Winter piece.
Early Empty Lanes
Really bad. An “overbaked” pop song. This is not something you would wish Eyeless to be involved with … . This and ‘New Love Here’ are competing for the title of Eyeless worst musical moment. Sometimes I still can think it is ok (but then I love Eyeless). It is just disappointing.
From Drawn Blinds
This is a decent Back from the Rains-type of song that could have easily replaced ‘New Love Here’ or ‘Sweet Life Longer’. Relaxed pop tune, with a sommery feel.
Now, another great pop song. This was too good to find a place on Back from the Rains for sure. [I really do not hate that album … ;-).]
An even better piece – much better – and of course an earlier song (1981). Totally lovely simple organ and singing that is almost hypnotising. One of my favourites.
My Lost Melody
Not exactly a great song – more a perfect space filler. Nice music for playing between programs on TV or something such. Could have been on Back from the Rains without ruining that album, as far as I am concerned.
P.S. for Michael
The geniuses are back with another outstanding short improvisational piece, with heavy rain falling outside the studio as the most obvious part of the music. :-)
Great Ocean Liner
A cut-out from Pale Hands I Loved So Well. Scary, stormy oceans of sound. A bit like ‘Up the Walls of Sound’ on Streets I Ran, but very unlike anything else. Rather lovely still. Should be on a proper re-release of Pale Hands I Loved So Well.
A very touching live track similar in structure to ‘Three Ships’ on the All Under the Leaves, the Leaves of Life album. A bit reminding of Terry Riley as Martyn also points out in the wonderful liner notes to the album. Organ and a little singing in the beginning and end. Improvisation from 1983. Sounds very folk oriented.
Fever Pitch and Bite
One of my absolute favourite Eyeless tracks is hidden at the end. Makes your heart beat faster. Very gripping and demanding of your attention. Nothing is relaxed here. Pure beauty. Perfect singing and organplaying. This, ‘Ways of Rachel’ and ‘Fear Clutches’ are the greatest pieces on this album. The three outstanding pop tunes mentioned above are also great!
Orange Ice & Wax Crayons bonus 7”
Music for Playgrounds
Perfect title. Totally fun and hilarious. Also beautiful. Who could ask for more? One of Eyeless absolutely earliest pieces. Should have been more properly released. (It is also on Pete Becker’s first solo cassette They Brought the Stratosphere.
One of my absolute favourite Eyeless tracks (also). Spacious, atmospheric, beautiful improvisation from the early days. I can listen to this at all times and be very happy with it. It is sad this gem will remain a beautiful secret to the lucky few who have managed to get across the rare vinyl version of the album with this bonus single (1000 copies, I believe). This is truly essential Eyeless music!
This is a really great album with great cover art and absolutely lovely comments by Martyn and Pete to all tracks on the CD. This inspired me to write these notes myself, although my perspective is obviously of less interest to listeners. I can only hope Eyeless decides to have a go with other Eyeless tracks as well. Essential tracks on this album apart from the Back from the Rains out-takes, perhaps.
Ghafran/Music from the Empty Quarter magazine
She Tries on the Jewels (remix)
It is not very much different from the version on Fabulous Library. See comments for that album.
This album is very different from all other Eyeless albums. It has a more “developed”, more ordinary sound somehow – still it is quite different from anything I have heard. Someone said it has similarity to some of David Sylvian’s work – I don’t know … . There is a very smooth sound and it features Elizabeth singing prominently (she is often the lead singer here). This song has a beat, which is quite odd for being Eyeless. Despite this I think it is one of more rewarding songs on the album to listen to again and again. It is really very nicely crafted with heavy atmospheres and whispering vocals by Liz and Martyn. Very catchy night music, with a beat, though one hardly think of it – as it is actually perhaps the most reflective track on the album. The tandem singing is wonderful – Martyn and Liz complement each other very cleverly throughout the album!
I really like this upbeat song. Almost dissonance in the complementing singing here, and it could sound a bit strained at times, but I think this a lovely light song full of the vitality that one could feel at times early in the day (for example).
As Far and Deep as Love
Very catchy tune – almost makes me think of some of the songs I loved by Blondie when I was younger. It is a kind of blissful atmosphere lingering around most songs on the album. Mature and fun pop.
Be the Teacher
It seems like I have heard something like this before somewhere … it sounds so familiar, still I can’t say what it would be. Very relaxed, very sober … . Quite good, though. They use a hell lot of instruments on this album (more than usual).
It is very moving music in all ways – it is like entering a stream of music that keeps running and that take you with it. Almost hypnotising in certain ways (a bit of minimalism woven into the fabric of the songs obviously). I really love this song. – Drifting music is for once an apt term. It is very engaging all the time, keeping you nailed to the flow of music.
She Tries on the Jewels
I think this song is very strange – apparently they try out some new way of playing (again). It sounds like the whole song is going backwards. It is still a rather charming song. But I always feel a bit uneasy while listening to it.
One of my favourite songs on this album. Also that flowing music: this time more spacious (very nice to listen to in headphones on high volume). Features whistling, birds, etc. Very nice singing by Liz here.
Sounds like “time to go home” music. I don’t like this song much. I don’t like Liz singing here. The song is actually rather boring … . It sounds too “ordinary”.
Feel Like Letting Go
Obviously a great song. The song on the album that sounds most like an Eyeless song (indeed, as Martyn told me, there is indeed an older unreleased song intertwined into this song). Very unreleaxed. Drifting music and a long track with beautiful vocal work. It sounds a bit “cosy” though, even if the music is stormy.
Loves a Sometime Thing
A sparse song that sounds very reassuring and sweet. The main part of the music here is the singing medley by Martyn and Liz. I really like this song, despite it overt cuteness!
A lovely album all in all. Not one of the better Eyeless albums, but it gives an even wider view of what Eyeless can handle and it offers some memorable songs. The original pressings had a pink abstract front cover, while later pressings had a photo of Eyeless on the front (the later exists in less quantity). This was the first album that was never released on vinyl. To fully understand this album one needs to know that it started like a Pete Becker solo album (with Elizabeth on vocals). Only later Martyn became involved (see the interview with Pete and Liz in the Ghafran issue of Music from the Empty Quarter for more background).
Saw You In Reminding Pictures
What can one say? Eyeless is finally back and returns uncompromisingly beautiful and with all that which is essential to that which is Eyeless. This album is based on improvisations done to reassure themselves that the creative power is still with them, I suppose. – And, this is shown to beyond all doubts on this album. This is a wonderful little banjo tune with spacious atmospheres that almost could bring tears to your eyes. So rewarding!
Yes, it is true – the title. When you also have come to see this, I grant you that you can fully appreciate the Eyeless music ;-). Very hypnotising – very ambient at times. Very experimental. I think this is clearly the most innovative/interesting album done by anyone during the 90ies (that I know of).
One of the most beautiful pieces of music that I know of. I want a whole album like this, please! … . Gorgeous vocals (no words) and excellent acoustic guitar. Fantastic how it can bring out the reminding pictures in you.
This is “romantic music” as it only could be, I think (and I mean it literally). – This whole album (and such as Pale Hands I Loved So Well also). Lovely song, with vocals that almost distort – the melody is mostly implied by the singing. Maybe this song could be one that sounds “religious”, but I am sure it is a misunderstanding to think of any music in that way. Music cannot be that specific! I would say it more brings forth a feeling of being elicited, uplifted – sounding idealistic in some sense, which may be interpreted in different ways by listeners, of course. Great track this.
A more “folk” feel here. Very special, rather repetitive, with nice vocal work. The “sound” here has some link to the sound on Martyn’s Imagination Feels Like Poison album (where you also find ‘Mock Sun #1’). Great!
Orchard and Brandy
I didn’t like this piece much previously, but now in listening to it today I begin to see some great things in it too. Lovely atmospheric. Very dreamy, very imaginative. This album is really a gem in the fact that it is really rewarding to hear over and over again.
All Yr Pages
A spectacular piece, perhaps. Very experimental again. Despite this, it ends up with echoes of their very poppy song ‘My Last Melody’ – odd. Quite good.
Streets I Ran
The most straightforward song on this album. Not easy to hold back the tears here. Lovely singing with accompanying organ. This is obviously not improvised. A masterpiece – almost too obvious to be in need of special mention.
A few more “special” improvised pieces follows here. Perhaps not the best material on the album, but still very good and it clearly belongs here. A decent piece.
Day Screaming Reminiscence
Great! A bit funny work with heavy percussions – actually, if you listen closely you can hear Martyn laugh here. Improvised, to be sure, but still quite good.
Sennen Cove Cliff Path
Also much fierce percussions almost blasting your ears away – one would have liked to see them perform this! Vocals is featured almost everywhere on the album and that is really great, I think. Very special!
Sea Bed #2
Well, bells and strange atmospheres. I cannot quite get along with this piece, even if the intentions seem very good. Probably my least favourite piece on the album – it sounds too chaotic for some reason.
I did not at first recognise the outstanding beauty of this piece either. The trick is to turn up the volume and be absorbed by the totally powerful and wonderful atmospheric music. It is quite hard to focus on the music itself. It is like it is part of the way you experience the world in. Perfect!
Drive the Nail Thru the Snake
I have never experienced the feeling of “speed” in music like this. Exhilarating. Totally lovely. Very melodic and harmonic. Amazing!
A very slow, calm piece. This was also used for the 1996 Anne Clark album To Love and Be Loved. Nice.
This wonderful deep blue ocean piece has a depth like few other spaciously atmospheric pieces. Very dreamlike again. Some piano here. Could “psychedelic ethereal” music be a good description? Very good. This track was also (later) on the Ptolemaic Terrascope compilation CD Alms.
Raise the volume some here. It totally grips you and holds you in a state of extreme desire. It is one of the most beautiful pieces Eyeless have ever done and one of my absolute favourite songs of all. The singing is especially well done. Sounds rather improvised at first, but makes so much sense upon subsequent listenings. This alone is clearly reason enough to get this album!
A rather unsettling and somewhat claustrophobic piece. Almost scary. I don’t like it much, though it is rather interesting. Maybe another track that I will eventually begin to love also … .
An outstanding album with great cover artworks. Thank you Eyeless for doing this!! Unfortunately it is currently not available. This is one of my most valued albums of all, maybe the most even.
Street Lamps ’n Snow
Snow Theme #1
Pulsating, flowing organ and voice repeating “snow” over and over again. Very, very good – the only drawback is the briefness of the piece. Eyeless had some idea of doing something more out of this piece – I can only hope that comes true. I think it was added for the video release and have no idea of when it was done.
No Space to Stop
Good track. Very concise, a little savage, but nicely so. Typical early Eyeless methinks.
Across the Pulse of the Rain
Another good track somewhat similar to the previous one but with more varied and smoother singing. Seems like they have played a lot (not that they come across as bored, but as if they really know this piece by heart). This should have been properly released, I think (but then there is so much that should have been that …).
Corner of Dusk
This rather moody song from Rust Red September sounds a bit like it later did on the album (otherwise most Rust Red September tracks played in 1982 sounded a bit harsher than on the album). Very fine track.
Drumming the Beating Heart
Great little hymn-like track that should really have been on the Drumming the Beating Heart album, I think.
Deep Naked Sorrow
Nice song. A bit fierce singing and drumming, but rather varied – I wished Rust Red September would have had this sound, that would have been more “right”, I think. There is something autumnal about the piece also.
No Perfect Stranger
A very good version of this song, much shorter and with a bit harder sound.
The wonderful improvisation one can also find in slightly different form on Orange Ice & Wax Crayons. Organ exploring new mythic paths.
The well known pop tune. Not particularly successfully performed here. I guess it would be quite another being there in Le Havre, listening live to this show than listening to a tape (I am also not seeing the video while writing this).
Leaves are Dancing
This also sounds slightly more alive here than on the album. – A bit simpler sound here (but that is of course the way it often is with live versions).
A stormy version of this song. Very nice.
Old Hours, Slow Daybreak
A great song. A bit melancholic and has a bit different sound than any other Eyeless tracks. One of the more engaging tracks of this live show.
Very catchy and sweet. Very well performed.
Very good performance of this song also. This is the way to fall in love with the Rust Red September songs – listening to this. Very good promotion for their (then) next album.
Wind in Dead Trees
The first of the “extra” tracks. This track previously went under the title ‘Second Nature’ and Eyeless played a demo of it in a radio show once. Very savage, wild, hilarious, tight and short. Typical early Eyeless. Very good.
Street Lamps ’n Snow
Another improvisational with some similarity to ‘Dogs Bark’ in being organ based. More singing here though. The studio version of this could also be found on Orange Ice & Wax Crayons. Very good and more romantic than ‘Dogs Bark’ – very wonderful singing. Really great performance of this song!
Snow Theme #2
The second and even shorter part of this wonderful organ/voice piece. This ends the show.
On the video there then also appears the two “professional” videos Eyeless ever did. ‘Veil Like Calm’ – somewhat phoney shots but nice sound quality. ‘New Risen’ – poor sound quality … well it sounds like it is being played in the boat that Eyeless manoeuvres through an English channel. Very nice video here though! The whole live video is not too exciting or well done, but it is surely a nice document to own for fans. I was a bit struck by how very untheatrical they came across, even in comparison with bands not intending to make it theatrical. I also suppose a lot of the atmosphere is lost (if not virtually all) that would have been there if one had been in the audience. A really successful show from Eyeless at their early peak.
Common Ground/Unknown Public
Flyway Over Subway Busher
One minute experimental piece in the vein of ‘Sun-Like-Gold’ and the Tago Mago tracks. But here cars fly by – maybe a new take on Kraftwerk’s Autobahn music … with mouth-organ! Good.
Streets I Ran
Streets I Ran
(see Saw You in Reminding Pictures)
Songs of Living Songs
There are more song-like pieces on this companion release to Saw You in Reminding Pictures. Extremely evocative of experienced atmospheres/situations and adds a beautiful lustre to your experience of reality as you listen. It sounds so profound for some reason – so complete. Lovely guitar playing and a bit melancholic perhaps. Another really great track.
In the same vein as the previous track, but more soft and slow and even more melancholic. So very reflective … . It urges you to introspect and to be open about yourself, I feel. Sitting in a botanical garden writing this is perfect. Absolutely great again.
Up the Walls of Song
All right, a towering wall of sound confronts you that sound both lovely and scary at the same time. Apparently this track was used in one episode of Archive X (the TV series). Almost distorting (I think it is occasionally) and could be a bit hard to listen to with headphones … (it sounds very different when played through loudspeakers I think). Lovely backwards singing by Elizabeth adds nicely to the piece.
Hidden beyond the wall of sound, we find a real treasure! This is currently my favourite song in the world. Absolutely lovely singing and guitar playing. Man could really achieve great things in all spheres of life apparently. This how I see life – that is what I experience in listening to this. There might not be any objective theories for how to achieve this great music, but if one would want to make progress in music theory, it has to be able to take account of this music. Maybe there is no need to hope for achievements in how to objectively arrive at music like this, when after all it is here already … . [I understand that Eyeless themselves can hardly be thinking along my lines here, but maybe some of their listeners could, who are not musicians, perhaps … .]
An obvious album to have in your collection. I think this is reason and logic in music as consistently as it is possible, even if only by implication. I can feel the harmony of mind and body in listening to this music. It is right and true! Martyn and Pete must be looked upon as important groundbreakers eventually in the history of music. I can only hope they will achieve some recognition while still alive!
Bushes and Briars
Eyeless filling a cathedral of sound and beautiful singing – at least so it sounds. Great!
To Cry Mercy
Here comes Eyeless back for the first time during the 90ies with real worked out songs (with a much more full sound than the scattered songs on the previous two releases). But it is still a new sound in many ways, even if clearly “Eyeless-ish”. It is more “massive”, more “heavy” and almost with a rock tinge. But very unlike any “rock/pop” you have heard before, I am sure. A very sommery feel to this song, at least in the beginning, then it becomes more frosty and savage. Heavy percussions. Very good.
Heavy drums makes it sound rather overwhelming. Very good singing. Really a new sound here. Savage, but tamed with the beautiful voice. It will certainly make an impression on you.
No Further Than the Shore
Snared by the feeling of desire inherent in this piece you will be drawn into it and lost in it. Very impressive singing and acoustic guitar. One of my favourites on this album. Very calm song, which might be perfect to listen to while walking through a forest.
Jump to Glory Jane
Noise, like entering a lumber mill. But, with beautiful spanish guitar and wordless singing. It is hard to believe this could be beautiful, but it simply is one of Eyeless most acutely beautiful pieces ever. One could get mixed emotions listening to this track, no doubt, but it actually seems very right with the compact, loud noise after a few listenings. A winter song. [Martyn mentioned in passing something like “man against the machine”, (I am not sure how he meant this exactly), but I think the piece is much deeper than such considerations. I think it is the fragility created by the extremes that unfolds the beauty and the atmosphere. (And if it is beautiful, maybe that more points to the harmony of man and machine, well … .)]
Snappy, direct, insistent. One of the more successful, more “normal” Eyeless songs on this album. Very exact and beautiful singing again, which must be noted. Heavy drums and percussion – one of the most characteristic songs for this album’s sound. It takes your breath away!
Again, time for a more gentle song. I do not know why, but this song sounds very nostalgic to me. (Seems slightly distorted to me, but it is not disturbing.) Sweet.
A very solemn and beautiful acoustic guitar piece with a little backing voice. The twisting ways of the guitar playing is demanding ones attention. Nice.
To Listen Across the Sands
Well, I am very ambivalent about this song. Fantastical beautiful singing flows over a deep river of guitars, treatments, etc. Sometimes it sounds extremely good and sweet, but at other times it feels as if you were being dragged across the sands behind a horse and that the twisted voices you hear are what you can apprehend (in your state of almost passing out) of cowboys and/or indians around you. Great song whatever way one feels about it. Silvery images perhaps – maybe another Christmas tune … sometimes.
Likeness of Summer
Another uncompromisingly sweet song. Yes, one can sense Summer images running through. Very good.
One of my absolute favourites on this album. It is not really a song, but more of a mood piece (even though I do not like that description). It fits very well with the wonderful picture on the back side of the jewel box. Very atmospheric, spacious.
Earth (Legend of Two Daughters)
I did not dare to make a fool of me asking if this song could have anything to do with that great, mysterious band Two Daughters – but, alas, one day Martyn mentioned it was a tribute to them (when we were talking of one of their cassettes). Sometimes I don’t like the voice part here, sometimes I do (it sounds “ethnic” or “tribal” in some way – I don’t quite know what to make out of it …). Two Daughters surely used a lot of odd vocalisings … .
Guide This Night
I happen to know this is a song Eyeless did live back in the 80ies – but can you believe it? It sounds like it firmly belongs on this album and has very little to do with Eyeless in the 80ies – strange how many sides they really had already back then!! Orange Ice & Wax Crayons suggests with songs like ‘Ways of Rachel’, ‘What I Want to Know’, ‘Dog’s Bark’ and more, that Eyeless could have put out a couple of albums already then with different sounds than the ones they actually did release. Amazing! A very sweet song this!
Yet again a somewhat different sound – like a far better version and up-to-date sounding The Beatles?? Very straight, very catchy, clever, snappy like hell, etc. Great poppy piece! The closest music I can think of would be something from The Monochrome Set. Rather happy mood to this song also.
Scaringly beautiful guitar piece with colourings.
Harps in Heaven
Reflective song. This is whoever not just a normal song … very little music … mainly some daydreaming sounds from an accordion. The song is difficult to forget. Can’t understand what it is about (like always), but it seems very sweet nonetheless. I do really like this piece!
Thereafter follows three mystery pieces … with a lot of silence in-between. Doesn’t seem like much music (maybe it’s music for the subconscious mind …). Rather sweet and hard to stop listening through … .
The album as a whole is obviously great in my opinion. Lovely cover art and booklet – really high quality! Buy this album while you can! It grows considerably by time – it took me almost a year to understand just how good it was and it still seems to only get better.
All Under the Leaves, the Leaves of Life
If you think you have heard a truly sad and sweet song before – forget it, it would lose its meaning in comparison to this. This is a very perfect song and overwhelming in its insistence on telling you how sad and sweet it is. A great Eyeless track that most Eyeless fans will enjoy much. [Someone pointed out that it has obvious Joy Division influences and that might be right as Martyn apparently hold this band in high esteem.]
A short piece. Quiet and nice as coming out of a forest.
Struck like Jacob Marley
Rather raw piece with heavy sound – actually it sounds a bit like the noisiest Marilyn Manson pieces when those are played on the highest possible volume. Maybe you think I got this wrong, but wait until you hear this. Still it is beautiful like that modern rock nonsense (like Manson) never can be. I am a bit ambivalent about this piece – really great and touching, though this level of “rock” sound plays hell with me.
A lot mellower and more folk oriented. Very sweet and only a bit bitter (but there is such an edge). Nice tambourines!
Do not turn up the volume here – just parental advice! ;-) A rather nasty piece reminiscent of the absolute first Eyeless live sound – like a more poppy and more aggressive Throbbing Gristle (without the hopeless vocals of Genesis, that is). But this is really just Eyeless – only very much filled with hate and unending bitterness. Very good.
The Leaves of Life/Seven Virgins
My favourite song on this album. Screeching sounds and wonderful acoustic guitar accompanied by the most beautiful singing. Melody and improvisation in perfect harmony. Breathtakingly beautiful and essential Eyelessish. This is Eyeless at their absolute best – this is moments that other musicians can only dream of (maybe not even that). Very spacious, noisy, but somehow calm.
Answer Song and Dance
More pop/rock oriented song with noisy treatment of the voice (some nasty filter used …). Good … but you will have to keep turn down the volume during the song. Least good track on the album.
Passing and Distance View
Somewhat poppy song. Sounds very much like a standard Eyeless song, but it turns greater after a while, adding more experimentation – noisy spacious whistles, flute and guitar treatments. Very good.
Damning Yourself Broken
Somewhat reminiscent of ‘Harps of Heaven’ on Bitter Apples, but here is a violin in place of the accordion. Singing with soundscape background. Really nice.
Organ, organ and voice. Rileyesque piece (think of Riley’s The Ten Voices of the Two Prophets), but this is still totally unique. More wild, more savage, more beautiful, more spacious, more gripping, more alive, more dynamic, more draining, more emphatic, more intense, more melodical, more innovative, more romantic, more subtle, more emotional, but still at the same price! ;-) This is a very long and very, very good track – clearly a favourite of mine.
Absolutely lovely acoustic guitar and voice piece that ends this album. Very calm even if the guitar is played very forcefully. Should be listened to in a warm and quiet place that is sunlit, but indirectly. Introspective and beautiful.
Maybe the most lovely cover & booklet art yet. Just noted that Peter Becker is listed first for a change of the two – well, he has got a longer list of instruments. The last text is to a song that they first planned to incorporate on the album, but very late decided to leave out. Last of the World Serpent distributed Eyeless albums. The album is more coherent as a whole than Bitter Apples is.
Bonus tracks on 2009 Cd edition
Luscious Word (Lot’s Wife)
The Carnal & the Crane
The only previously unreleased bonus piece on the 2009 reissue of the album. It fits fine on the Cd. It features acoustic guitar and flute sounds. It is a nice peice, but also rather short.
Luscious Word (Lot’s Wife)
Very good vocals (no words, I think), very good song indeed. Extremely atmospheric and introspective. Extremely lovely soundscape dominated by the powerful voice. Music to listen to while walking through (or passing by) gardens in the night.
Immersed Eerie Physical
More spooky – evokes the kind of feeling you might get while being out at night not knowing how to find your way home. Clay pots, angry e-guitar, and eerie voice. Unsettling. Good, but not quite as good as the other track. Both songs are reminding me a bit of my favourite Nurse With Wound track ‘In Someone Others Garden’ (on the Rising from the Red Sands tape series).
Song of the Beautiful Wanton
Among the Blue Flowers and the Yellow
Extravagant simplicity. Heartfelt beauty, even if intentionally so. Subdued perfect singing pushed to the front of acoustic guitar playing. Great piece, but short.
One Light Then
Reworking of an old piece, which was very good even then. Now appended with a very long (10 mins) rythmic section. More mysterious than the first; more colourings. Ultimately a better song than he first, but it takes time to appreciate the seemingly juxtaposed appended rythmic section, which has its own, but very different, merits. The long latter part is a bit hypnotic and in order not to be annoyed, you will have to listen when you are not tired or busy. If you just lean back and relax it is a quite nice this part too, but I still feel it is not really part of the song.
I have heard that some who otherwise like this album, does not like this song. This was surprising to me as it one of tracks most defining the special character to the album in my mind. There is a certain mood about this piece which is quite impossible to find elsewhere in Eyeless corpus. It sounds like you cannot quite reach to the music itself and that it lays buried in some artificial clouds around you. It is not direct and natural-sounding like so often with Eyeless songs. The atmosphere is reminding of some of the more artificial-sounding pieces on Fabulous Library. Still this is better (more original) than anything on Fabulous Library. It sounds very sweet and the softest of balsams to your soul. The piano adds the special beauty of the piece. Mysterious pop, as this album is.
This sounds very fresh and relaxed, the whole album is unusally relaxed in comparison to anything coming out of the hands of Martyn Bates & Pete Becker before this. It is as if they feel more at home in the world, but then again it sounds like that world might not quite be the same as the one many others live in. The music is dreamy, but it certainly does not help you escape the world – it helps you deal with the world!! Great song!
Okay, this is not as relaxed! They manage to sort of hide a furious intensity in the piece, but shifting back to slowpulse and sparcity from more agressive moments, which is reminiscient of techniques employed by Bark Psychosis, which perhaps defined whatever new things that happened in the 90’s in music (not much else happened in my mind in that decade and few things seem to have happened since).
Sorrow Loves Yr Laughter
This sounds like a very straight-forward pop/rock song. It is good, but perhaps a bit too noisy toward the end. It is welcome, but not a favourite of mine. Without it, the album would have come across as much more experimental on the whole, thus giving to all, but also potentially alienating all … . Still I like the unafraid way of mixing things, which just goes to show their independence is for real.
Lullay My Liking
This is great! Very folksy, quiet and mysterious with and again with a relaxed, but intense feeling. A bit short. They did a really great live take on this at their 25th anniversary gig in London in 2005!
More experimental again. The title is rather descriptive of the music here (no car sounds though ;-)). It is a rythmic piece again without singing. I often find the guitar playing here a bit annoying and sometimes skip it while listening through. Again it demands that you are not too tired and rushed while listening. It is interesting and comes across as an eyelessish take on african drum music.
Very strange atmosphere again. A bit ghostly, maybe suited to listen to on a moonlit walk by the seaside among abandoned houses or something! Very good!
A very different take on a regular old folk song (it sounds like). The song is very piercing and feels like strong rays of sun shattering your vision. It sounds like a very raw clarity. Different and beautiful! One of my favourites on the album.
Old and Cold and Full of Ghosts
This is again mysterious and wandering, but it fails to impress me much. It is food for imagination, but it often fails nonetheless to get my imagination going. It is an average instrumental piece, which is odd for Eyeless. Maybe it is just a bit too mysterious for me or featuring the wrong mystery :-). It is just that it sounds more like something I have heard before, than most of the other pieces on the album. It is still ok.
The Lovely Wanton
This was how I first had thought the album would sound like, maybe because I first heard this song. This song also sounds more like what could be expected after Martyn Bates’ release of Imagination Feels Like Poison, where it would fit perfectly. It fits well here also, but the album does not sound like this. This song sounds a bit more perfected than many of the other pieces on the album. It is again a sung in a hushed dreamy folky manner, with walls of shady drapery. It is dark and beautiful. Perhaps a bit sad (as if this is new feauture of Eyeless songs, but I think they are not as sad sounding generally as some people think).
I Will Give My Love an Apple
This is again in the spirit of urgent beauty of the first piece on the album, and thus rounds up the album perfectly. It is that piercing (but not fierce) voice again of stark beauty, that makes it hard to keep tears back. Simple and direct, guitar and voice. After over a minute of silence (or virtual silence) a sound appears that sounds like a warped recording from some old movie music. I do not know how this was made, but it is just a mysterious wrap-up of the album – nice but it is not a continuation of the song.
I waited a long time to review this album song by song, mainly because I could not get a grip on this album for a long time and it is still hard. Anyway added some comments now in order to continue on this comment-writing project! The album is really very good, but I found that I do not listen as often to it as I do to most other Eyeless albums and that is probably due in part to the radical shifts between songs, experiments, and rythmic sessions. It is of course a must have for every Eyeless fan and it has turned out some unusually positive comments from people like Edward Ka-Spel and others who had no good idea of where Eyeless was musically these days. Lovely cover artwork – I prefer the back side (the front was chosen by Pete and the back by Martyn, both are good though).
Summer Salt & Subway Sun
Dust Box-Subway Sun
Moody short opening piece. Not a song, just a collage mood piece, with some cryptic laughter and birds, etc.
Smooth lucid song with energetic guitar playing. Guitar goes fast, but drums, cymbals, bass and voice goes slowly. Layered with many facets and extra instrumentation. This is a very good song!
Repetitive electric guitar intertwined in a dense fabric of sound, sometimes with a leading acoustic guitar or synth. Extremely detailed, like some exquisite embroidery. Dense, energetic, very alive and beautiful.
Very moody drifting, pure, clear piano and voice song with huge cathedral-like sound, still very introspective. You will get lost in the song and listen with (or through) the song, rather than to it. Maybe it could have been a little longer … .
The 3-D Picture
I thought the rather traditional drum and synth playing could make this a commercial hit, but it is ultimately a bit too experimental and does not feature any catchy singing (or voice at all). It is a nice and a bit fun. It is a good track.
This song should come as surprise to all listeners. A cute, simple, sunny, homespun song that you will either love or hate. The cuteness is slightly cheesy, but it sounds right nonetheless and I am more on the love side here. At the end it drifts off into some eastern sounds before ending, which makes it sound a little myserious.
Where Vivid Bloomed
Here is an easy to recognise “eyelessish” song (also some eastern sounds on the keyboard here). This really sounds like a typical song only Eyeless In Gaza could have done (ok I am repeating myself). I like the swirling sound of the piece which fits perfectly with the nice circular photo inside the jewel box. Very good!
This is something a bit extra! It is one of my two main favourites on the album, the other being the ‘Ebbing All the Years’ song. This is a radical reworking of a piece they tried live back in 1981 and even though you cannot recognise any similarities, there is an air about the piece which is similar. It is this slightly haphazard style, like the flight of a paper aeroplane (well, as it sometimes could be). Again drifting, lucid and more experimental both in instrumentation and in singing style. It sounds very fresh, playful, sunny and dreamy. Harmony is to the forefront on this album, but there’s melody too. Very nice!
Hmm. This sounds a bit more “american” in its guitar lines, but it continues in a very engaging drifting, song. I’m listening with my best headphones on now, but I get a bit disappointed, it sounds much better in simple iPod headphones really – maybe because I am not a fan of heavy bass … ;-). Good song, but seems a bit like an interlude between the previous and next song.
Ebbing All the Years
Well, this is obviously the masterpiece on this album. This is also based loosely (but not as loosely as ‘Paper Aeroplanes’) on an older piece that was only ever performed live. It sounds a bit like one has given up on things in life and now stares blankly to the sky, but the emotionally creeping intensity of the piece reveals it is not that bad. It is over-introspective in a good sense and extremely fragile and moving. It is sucking you in in a way no other band can do it. Athmospheric experimentation and sad-happy song that is more ambient than any ambient music ever were.
A counterpart piece to the introduction. Good and moody short experimental piece.
This album is much easier to listen to over and over than any of the other albums since the 80s. The album is surprising as it breaks with line of more and more a focus on wyrd folk style of music by Martyn Bates and instead introduce electric guitars and more pop sensibility. Eyeless wants to stay clear of being labelled as this or that music, this is clear. There is an overall harmony and style of the album which is very welcome. It sounds very fresh and focussed. It certainly bodes well for future works which are likely to appear faster than previously as Eyeless has found more time and interest in both recording and performing live again!
Subway Sun and Wildcats Fights (released later in July 27th, 2008)
Star Pool, Milky Way
Eerie, nice, experimental, and a little noisy. A bit like the ending of Summer Salt. This has more of melody and action to it. Sounds fresh.
Yes, this tries to sound “all new” and succeeds quite well at this. Melancholic, kaleidoscopic and dreamy. Heavy organ playing permeating the song throughout. Very good.
I Told You It Wouldn’t Rain
This sounds more unlike anything else Eyeless have done earlier than any other track on these albums. It is suddenly not dreamy at all and more playful and happy. But it becomes more intricate as it goes. It is reminiscient of ‘Paper Aeroplanes’ from the previous album. Running throughout is a machine-like sound that sounds like desperately braking a car and can come across as very annoying at a first listen, but sounds much more natural upon subsequent listenings. The music moves rapidly forward, so the braking sound seems like it wants to get control of things and the effect is mostly fun and the piece improves as a song on the way too! It is very reassuring to see this more happy and explorative side in Eyeless In Gaza as it points to a lot of energy and willingness to explore further, breaking more new ground!
This song sounds like more like a Martyn Bates solo piece, but is also reminiscient of outstanding early Eyeless In Gaza pieces like Lines of Fire, Fever Pitch and Bite, Fear Clutches and Light Sliding. Very touching, fragile singing with sweet organ playing. (The singing reminds me of Drita’s in ‘My Suitor’ by Berntholer. See YouTube video, but this is better.) The text is actually coming from and early unreleased song called ‘Ricochet Talk’ pointing to that this might not be released, but this new take is actually better, so no quarrel.
This sounds very modern, like they are trying to give an answer to Pearl Jam (obviously embarrasingly mediocre music). This, however, is good. This sounds like it could be played on the radio to some success. This is cool and a bit surprising.
So here we quickly step back into very experimental electronic guitar waters. This is very sprawling and sounds a bit unintegrated. Someone complained in a review that they sound “too unpolished”, but then again they do not have to sound so unpolished because they now know better. Why try to sound worse than you can just to impress some trendy lo-fi nerds? Eyeless have never been about trying to do what is expected to be cool by a certain group of people. If you are annoyed because you think it could have sounded differently and thus better attuned to the tastes of our day, then maybe you are thinking more like the upper management at EMI and the sort, rather than someone who actually takes an interest in music qua music.
Broken Sounds a bit like South American indian folk music and this song first annoyed me most of all of the songs on these three albums because of this association I made. However, when you listen through it, this element dissolves into something much nicer. Despite some contradictions to my mind it is very nice and slightly dreamy. It has the atmosphere of an wonderful late evening walk under a starry sky. This again sounds in many respects unlike anything I have heard before. Some nice singing too! It really improves like few other songs as it draws closer to an end.
Antiphony Whispers Very noisy and electronic! Absolutely not sweet or dreamy! It is has a bit of a catharsis effect to it and thus it can be welcome at times. Slightly “industrial” (or as “industrial” as Eyeless ever gets today anyway). No singing.
Song-like in the Dead Night
Sweet song with some strange background sounds (mostly twisted vocal sounds). Very good!
Very, very good! Slight annoyance only with unfortunately clicks coming as a side effect to the over-the-top reverb used, but this must be overlooked as it is so nice. Organ and other effects makes up this piece in the style most reminiscient of an early masterpiece like ‘Big Clipper Ship’ on their very successful Pale Hands I Loved So Well album.
An extra disc containing only this track was released with the first 400 copies of the box set released in 2008. One would had suspected a highly experimental drone piece of sorts given the length of nearly 20 minutes. However, no, instead Eyeless here delivers a very funky song with a long and fun improvisational middle section. Almost with a “jazz” touch to it. It is most sounding like the very straight Zeal song on the album and no dreaminess here. It all has very positive vibes. No organs – just electronic guitars and drums as far as you could see!
The set as a whole comes across as some of the best stuff Eyeless In Gaza has ever put together and sounds very fresh and reassuring! Just to try an imagine that some other muscians from the early 80’s should sound as fresh and vital today comes across as ludicrous fantasies. Just reflecting on it make me feel very uneasy! Thanks Eyeless! (The box packaging was not so very exciting, but the nice signed insert (with the first 400 copies) was a fine touch.)
A Map of the Stars in Summer
A Needle to North
A very intense and powerful song. More electronic than earlier, just like on the last proper album Summer Salt & Subway Sun. This mini-album as a whole is some of the best stuff ever done by both Martyn Bates and Eyeless In Gaza. A very good song!
A folk music revisting by Eyeless In Gaza. The only piece on the tribute Cd to Leonard Cohen put out by Mojo magazine (Dec 2008) that sounds fresh and relevant (also one of the few specially composed for that compilation). Very good, but perhaps not outstanding considering the other outstanding releases we have seen recently.
All written by .
Modified on April 18th 2009
Part of the Eyeless In Gaza web site at http://EyelessinGaza.com/.