Just as there was something very 70s prog-cum-glam-rock about Pick up, Lift Off, Space Time’, the 2013 debut album from Norwegian outfit, Electric Eye, so there is something very 90s Madchester about ‘Bless’ the track they released in advance of their much anticipated sophomore album, which drops this week. For this lover of all things 90s Britpop as well as Norwegian psychedelia this is pretty much having my brit-psych cake and wolfing it whole.
To my psych-loving ears, ‘Bless’ is redolent of a 21stC ‘Norwegianised’ Stone Roses anthem pebble dashed with U2 guitar sequences back-dropped by the dour thunderousness of ‘Riders on the Storm’. The vibe coming from the Rhythm Section is very Roses-esque, with its ‘Fool’s Gold’ bassline and beat, but it is the more than passing glance at The Edge’s high pitched guitar thrum that I find completely fascinating; think the searing guitar sequences in say, ‘Even Better Than the Real Thing’. I played both tracks (embedded) more than a few times to do a ‘for-self’ musical sanity check!
Moving away then from third party comparative speak.
Instrumentally and sonically Electric Eye seem to have evolved quite a lot since their 2013 outing. They have developed a darker and edgier sound by broadening their scope, adding a more pervasive percussive presence, whilst retaining that inherent analogue dissonance that gives them a ‘back to the future’, or , ‘retro-futuristic’ vibe if you like.
Whilst that earthy RS firmly underpins, moody tension is provided by fuzzed out, soaring guitars, against which a fluid, chilled vocal delivery provides a fine counter, resulting in a semi-toxic, highly hypnotic psych-sound that greedily devours the dark, whilst holding court with flashing swathes of flashing electric light. In essence, ‘Bless’ is a slow moving electrical thunderstorm passing through the Nevada desert.
In many ways, ‘Bless’ is a reworked, drugged up, slowed down and vocalised version of ‘6 am’, a track from the band’s 2013 debut album. Melodically and sonically it is a twin for ‘6am’ – It uses a lot of the same sequences and chords – just with a lot less guitar and synth topspin, and a lot more percussive/bassline tar and pitch.
A rework of ‘6 am’? Possibly. But whether by accident or design in ‘Bless’ Electric Eye have created the perfect pastiche of a U2/Stone Roses fusion and in so doing, have developed a sound which is above and beyond that which others in the psychedelic space have managed to muster.
You can follow Electric Eye on Facebook, Twitter and keep up to speed with their latest news via their Official Website. The band play Oya Festivalen, Oslo, in August, details and tickets, here. I’ve included a full 3-track Spotify playlist for your enjoyment x