Fresh Stream

DEN – ELECTRIC EYES 7″

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Chicago’s Den is the sound of what happens when scene-vets get tired of playing by the rules, take the next bus to the proverbial deep end, and jump off the edge to see what they can find. This is some totally freaked-out noise-punk in the tradition of other movers-and-shakers such as The Jesus Lizard, Flipper, Black Flag, and the like; bands that saw things stagnating around them and instead of being another imitator chose to do something new that might just blow everyone’s minds. That’s not to say that this 7” is contrived in the least, however. In fact, despite it’s challenging and sludgy noise, it feels perfectly organic; like three guys in a basement decided to make something weird and many hours, beers, and other substances later, this is what came out. Opener “Neary” plods, writhes, and spills over into a beautiful and distorted mess, replete with some psychy sound effects. “Spectrum Shock” is a hypnotic track with a beautiful chorused bassline and strange synthy sounds, approaching a sound that’s not all that far off from Krautrock before the distorted vocals and sound effects kick in. All of a sudden, it all grinds to a halt and we’re left with a thick fuzzed-out riff and more vocal effects that both bring to mind some more sludgy influences; I can see these guys going on a huge Melvins kick before writing this one. Closer “The Coiled Cross” dips further into the murk, and Den move into straight-up drone. No doubt about it, Electric Eyes is an excellent and unique listen and I can’t wait to see what Den comes up with next. Pick it up from Retrograde Tapes.

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