Eaters - Eaters
The first track on the new self titled album from Eaters is fittingly called "Embrace the Strange". It takes you on this just over four minute journey through something that is not quite electronic, but also not quite rock either. The song is big and bold making a statement about where the album will go and what exactly will be. However it is not until the last track that some of this promise is realized. In between the first and last track is a collection of odd, and often off putting music. "Empty Yourself" is wrapped up in synths, and then has this robotic talking delivery that is really tough to get through. Any brightness that the first track promised is washed away rather quickly. They present one thing to you, quickly take it away and give you something completely different and it is jarring to say the least. The record was recorded over two years by Bob Jones and Jonathan Schenke which does it give it this really desperate feel like each track is a thing all it's own. There are times where Eaters can get into a nice groove, but they will often shatter that with some intense noise or driving the album further into the Art Rock realm. There is a third member of Eaters who does all their visual work and you can tell that the sights are really important to understanding this record. Listening without them somehow makes the record feel incomplete.
The arrangements are so complex here that the listener eventually gets bogged down in the sheer amount of stuff going on. "Horizons" manages to be dark and brooding then switch to bright and dancey in almost an instant. It is a track where so many things are going on it is hard to find a place to settle in and enjoy. It is almost like Eaters is peppering you with question after question until you are sick of responding and move away. But, if you leave you can't shake this sense that you just might miss something special. Eaters excel at manufacturing anxiety where the constant push of a song like "The Well" is simply relentless. The three tracks which precede the final are all kind of like this, ramping up the anxious energy and build it up to a fever pitch. The only problem is there is no release, you want something to do with all this emotion you've built up but Eaters don't give you a place to express it, just more baggage to take home with you. Eaters has it's moments, but as a whole it is just a whole bunch of "too much" from start to finish.
5.9 out of 10