Review Summary: Blepharitis never sounded so good.
Sore Eyelids is a Swedish project featuring Henning Runolf of Suis La Lune. The band was never highly publicized, and as such have managed to fly under the radar on many forums, disappointingly. Amidst a plethora of emo/shoegaze bands, Sore Eyelids have concocted a near perfect recipe. In fact, the sound they have crafted for themselves is so engaging that their lack of deviation is easily forgivable. The instrumentals are high-energy, dynamic, and perfectly mixed, as all three members shine in their respective fields.
The album wastes no time, as it kicks off with the relentless opener "I Wish I Could Believin' You". The song sets the tone for what to expect with the remainder of the album. Runolf's vocals are mournful without being overbearing in their delivery, and sound post-punk inspired. The production on the vocals is very dreamy, and reminiscent of shoegaze in tonality. The lyrics are consistently dreary, and the following epitomizes the emotional aspect of the album: "In the morning I'm nostalgic/and all that's filling up my head/is every moment that felt just like then/before I started to fuck things up
As a whole the album feels gloomy, and the singer appears to insistently dwell on past mistakes while suffering feelings of incompetence and an all-encompassing lack of self-worth. These emotions, coupled with the high instrumental intensity, create a listening experience that can be either depressing or invigorating depending on the listener's approach. The lyrics are simple, which is understandable given English is not the vocalist's first language, but this is hardly a detriment as the lyrics are clearly intended to be painful and blunt. "365 Days of Nothing" is a standout track which features everything the album has to offer. The guitar work is gorgeous, the vocals are earnest, the drumming is intense, and every segment of the song is engaging. However, it becomes apparent that all the album's tracks are somewhat formulaic.
Sore Eyelids' self-titled LP is a perfect example of an album that relies on a formula. Fortunately, the band executes said formula to its fullest potential, and creates something that is enjoyable from beginning to end.