Where Dark Eyes shines is in its darkest place. While not an ominous effort per se, Half Moon Run makes a strong argument for creating a serious, calculated record in today’s non-stop onslaught of regurgitated drivel. Throughout the album, the four-piece makes it clear that (in contrast to their relatively sparse Internet persona) they truly know exactly what they’re doing. That, or they know really how to fake it.
Dark Eyes ranges widely in styles, but can be begrudgingly lumped into the broad, over-arching label of alternative rock. Throwing it in the alt-rock category, however, speaks little of the nuances and technical prowess so defining of the band’s sound. For only containing four members, the band expands well beyond their confines of the instruments they play.
Each band member has a hand playing multiple instruments and singing, one even playing percussion and keyboard simultaneously. As intended, this over-the-top effort brings forth a larger-than-life sound, one that shatters the foundations of my bland, alt-rock generalization.
The balance of uptempo chuggers and slow-paced crooners sets the pace for a fresh listen each and every time. And although it’s not the longest album, Dark Eyes says what it needs to say. Each song is wound tightly, leaving little in the way of filler. Absolutely all of what Dark Eyes represents is fully saturated and oh-so expertly realized.
As hinted at above, there’s a certain air of eeriness surrounding Dark Eyes. Though the feeling doesn’t out-and-out permeate the album, certain tracks do emit an undercurrent of bleakness. Rather than drag the album down, however, the pieces seek to prop it up, fabricating a contrast so welcome in this genre of copycats.
Dark Eyes is probably one of the most expertly performed and produced records I’ve listened to for quite some time. It is an album-lover’s album, full of movement and purpose, devoid of one-offs and quick thrills. It would be a shame to pass this one up.
After a quick email exchange, Devon eloquently explained to me that the majority of the photo shoot for the album art involved equal parts drunkenness and nudity, and was the biggest test of their endurance, integrity, and dedication of their lives thus far. He might have been talking about the recording process for that last part… but you get the gist. If the video above is any indication, the band is a blast to see live (and/or drunk and nude.
Sounds like: Brand New, MuteMath, 90′s Alternative Rock
Stand out tracks:
Take a listen to my home-brewed instrumental/electronic/indie album
"Where Were We When" and download it for as many coconuts as you can spare.
Coconuts are delicious, though their milk tastes like pond water.