Sometimes it’s something as simple as a line, a note or just a beat, to bait, hook and reel you in. With Electric Eye it was the first bar of ‘Bless‘, the lead track from their sophomore album, ‘Different Sun‘, released at the start of February. Having been put onto them last October, by fellow Norwegians Dråpe, I had tuned into a couple of tracks from their debut Lp, “Pick-up, Lift-up, Space, Time”, and really liked what I heard, but it wasn’t until ‘Bless’ dropped into my ‘musicverse’ that I gave Electric Eye some serious undivided attention.
What a difference four minutes can make … and oh boy, what a four minutes. Having heard a track that addictive, I was hooked immediately by its potency, so when I saw that Electric Eye were on the line up for Oslo based festival, by:Larm, I was more than a tad excited at the thoughts of hearing ‘Bless’ and more, live.
Before by:Larm, Electric Eye released ‘Different Sun’ which garnered much critical praise (you can read my review here) as well as spades of positive feedback from their multitude of fans, so it was with fizzing anticipation that I pitched up at Uhørt to see them rock out for their headline slot on the penultimate night of the festival.
Electric Eye, who count members of The Megaphoic Thrift among their line up, played to the biggest capacity crowd I saw across my three nights at by:Larm. An absolutely thronged venue heaved and surged as the Bergen four-piece laid into set opener ‘6am’, an already lengthy instrumental which they extended even further. Like a surreal sonic snake, it captivated, beguiled and hypnotised the by:Larm revellers. Row after row of psyched out fans was literally going crazy to its powerful blues driven rhythm of clean guitar sequences sitting between frenzied rock grooves, intense drum rolls and crazed spirals of synths. If you could describe music as being “opiated”, then this is the perfect track to do so.
Describing their sound as “Groove-psych-space-rock from Norway“, they pretty much hit the nail on the proverbial head. Spaced-out rock from rockin’ out musicians who nearly had the paint off the walls, and the varnish off the woodwork, as their music blistered and scorched creating an electrically charged atmosphere the wattage of which I haven’t experienced since the Manics blew the roof off the Olympia in 2014.
Quality over quantity was the order of the setlist, and instead of trying to cram in several tracks, Electric Eye opted to play just four songs, with extended instrumentals on all.
Essentially an instrumental oriented band, they let the music do the talking for the best part, but in finishing with current single, ‘Mercury Rise’, they proved that they are 100% capable of producing an equally strong vocal delivery. ‘Mercury Rise’ a glittering homage to Marc Bolan’s T-Rex and all things 70’s glam-rock, was the perfect closer to 30 minutes of entrancing psychedelic grooving.
This was the psych rockers gig of gigs – an unsurpassed guitar-fest and synth fantasia that had the crowed reeling and afterwards baying for more. (I have literally never seen anyone’s fingers move so quickly on a synth – EVER!). I don’t tend to score gigs, it’s something I rarely do; but on this occasion I’ll make an exception. 10/10.
Electric Eye have their sound down pat, and their musicianship skills honed to perfection. Having long since gained the respect of Norwegian music critics, the band has now caught the eye and ear of top UK music publication, the NME, being featured in their by:Larm round up as one of the hottest bands to play the festival. Garnering attention and print space beyond Norwegian borders is nothing more than Electric Eye deserve, and with any luck, they’ll garner even more during their Tex-festing stateside.
I’ll leave you guys with a taste of what you have to look forward to at Øya later this Summer, or, if you’re one of the lucky dudes travelling to SXSW, then you’ll need to tick this on your gig-go-to next week!! Happy St Patrick’s Day with Electric Eye y’all!
The album ‘Different Sun’ is available on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify. You can follow Electric Eye on Facebook and Twitter. They will play the Norwegian Glasto – Øyafestivalen – in August. Their schedule for SXSW is here: