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THE EXPLODING EYES ORCHESTRA
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The Exploding Eyes Orchestra began life as an alternative writing outlet for Jess and the Ancient Ones' guitarist Thomas Corpse, and has now evolved into a fully-fledged band, with their debut album 'I' to be unleashed in June. Featuring five out of JATAO's seven members, including vocalist Jess herself, Corpse has stated that 'I' contains material which he "found incompatible with the Jess and the Ancient Ones concept." With that concept being to "translate their explorations of the magical realms into sonic transmissions we usually call long plays", the actual music on 'I' is still discernibly related to JATAO's aesthetic in general feeling. Fuzz-infused, distorted guitars and general song structures adhere, partially, to JATAO's psychedelic rock and prog proclivities, although tracks do deviate into other 70s inspired modes of expression. That said, with Jess' distinct vocals and Corpse's compositional work, together with the instrumentations collectively created by the five members of JATAO present, it very much has a feeling of their day-job band; although in the sense of that band progressing their aesthetic into new, but inextricably related, sonic territory.

With a familiar sounding production, and one befitting of the music's 70s inspired vibe la JATAO, the album has a pleasingly organic quality; a nicely warm analogue sound. And each of the seven compositions come alive within that sonic space, with laidback melodic charms and soulful sways courtesy of Jess' expressive, ardently-tonal vocals. A few surprises also lie in wait, notably on 'Black Hound' with its quasi-blues twang and Roddy McDowall's voice-over, whereby he narrates extracts from H.P. Lovecraft's short story, 'The Hound'. Yes, you read that right, Roddy McDowall - 'Fright Night's Peter Vincent; 'Planet of the Apes' Cornelius, and other much more prestigious roles - who sadly passed away back in 1998, although they've somehow managed to get hold of his 1960s (now extremely rare) vinyl release of 'Roddy McDowall Reads the Horror Stories of H.P. Lovecraft'. You'd think the combination of The Exploding Eyes Orchestra and McDowall's spoken word delivery would be an awkward pairing but, somehow, they've found the perfect musical accompaniment to his distinctive voice. And it's simply amazing. As is the entire album. In short, The Exploding Eyes Orchestra's debut is incredible, and will undoubtedly provide a satisfying stop-gap release while fans of JATAO await their long-promised new album.
LABEL:
FORMAT:
Svart Records
Album
I
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Review by Mark Holmes
RUNNING TIME:
41:14
RELEASE DATE:
12th June 2015
TRACK LISTING
1) The Smoke
2) Crazy Heart
3) My Father the Wolf
4) Drawing Down the West
5) Two-Zero 13
6) Black Hound
7) Farewell to All-In-One
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
Finland
"...the album has a pleasingly organic quality; a nicely warm analogue sound. And each of the seven compositions come alive within that sonic space, with laidback melodic charms and soulful sways..."
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