reviewed by Jack Derricourt
I found my love for Ottawa’s jerky pop garage specialists Organ Eyes earlier this year when I reviewed their easygoing Visual Meetings. Now I’m falling in love all over again thanks to the release of Daze Pace — an entirely different creature, capable of creeping up you and forcing a joy buzzer down your throat.
Buzz saw guitars and high flying drums are the mainstay on Daze Pace. It’s a nice change of tone from Visual Meetings, a record that had more in common with Wilco than the Mac attack of “Lost Boys” or “Glowing Mind.” This album feels of the time, which is nice. There’s some fun stuff happening with guitar production now — the reinvention of the old as not quite new, but still quirky and not nearly as ironic as it might have been even five years ago; Organ Eyes sit comfortably among the ranks of Parquet Courts and Thee Oh Sees for keeping things rocking, weird, and free.
The weirdness is thick and intoxicating on Daze Pace. Samples are manipulated, vocal effects displace voices into fishbowls — as on “Jeeps and Creeps” –, and unorthodox playing techniques add spice that is nice and tasty. Possibly the weirdest of all, “Sunday Jaguar” is a music concrete Cars track. Not just because there’s car noise all over the track, but because the hook of a riff that fishes the audience in and the idiosyncratic vocals hearken back to a pre-MTV era of intrigue and experimentation.
This album has such range and variety it’s astounding. While the start of the record is stacked with straight, kickass punky material around two minutes in length, the latter half of the album has a variety of track lengths and song styles. As much as I loved Visual Meetings, Daze Pace is the obviously superior specimen. Closing track “Hardly Know Her” hints at the laundromat pop of the earlier record, but, drum machine accompaniment and drifting echo backup vocals, there is a great deal of difference in the mix. I don’t know what Organ Eyes did to find themselves in such a disparate, sophisticated head space within the last year, but I sure appreciate the shift.
Daze Pace is one of the best albums of the year. Get it. Just download it. Now! Go see Organ Eyes play. This band is awesome.
Top Tracks: “Lost Boys” , “Sunday Jaguar”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*