Review Summary: Heavy psych rock goodies...
After multiple tours throughout Europe in support of Lowlands
, The Flying Eyes have been lying low during the last couple of years. A 10-year anniversary trek took place last Fall, but no new music was in sight. Upon hearing their 3rd studio effort was finally out, I rushed to get it. Right from the start, Burning the Season
made me really happy, since one of my favorite heavy psych rock groups is still going strong. The Jim Morrison-esque vocals are in full force and the old school grooves crafted by these guys engage you in a very smooth way. They manage to sound different from the myriad of acts who only duplicate the same vibe classic acts created without bringing anything new to the table. Although occasionally dabbling in the riff-oriented ground, the band knows how to extract the cool stuff and present it fresh. ‘Come Round’ does the job flawlessly as it reeks of rock’n’roll-on-steroids riffs. Also, ‘Oh Sister’ starts as a rowdy rocker with tom-heavy drumming and barn burning guitars. Halfway, its soft core reveals itself through wandering bass lines, complete with heartfelt vocals, the never disappointing Hammond organ touches and gentle picked guitar chords. It lets loose again towards the end as everybody bursts into a party-ready coda.
Nevertheless, The Flying Eyes’ strengths lie in the moody pieces that manage to create a misty atmosphere and here they bring forth mainly Americana influences. The wild-west vibe cuts like centerpieces ‘Circle of Stone’ or ‘Fade Away’ share are damn authentic, plus the accent Will Kelly boasts is perfect for this setting. The fuzzy blues topped by slide leads are downright infectious and the constant change of pace offers a very dynamic ride. The dual solos on ‘Circle of Stone’ accompanied by effective organ notes offer a lovely break in between powerful riffs, especially the final one which is one of the most powerful moments on Burning the Season
. The twangy grooves of ‘Fade Away’ echo most their western music leanings, where you can imagine a charming, dry desert sunset. There are breaks into dirty segments along the way, but for the most part, the hazy, mid-tempo pace and steady beat are the ones doing the magic. Needless to say, the wailing guitar solos are a great match here. Meanwhile, the subdued ‘Rest Easy’ is a pleasant soundtrack to a hot afternoon, whereas the pumped ‘Drain’ is driven by staccato rhythms and busy drumming until it goes off on its main hook. The tensed feel of the latter contrasts the hushed nature of the former, yet they nicely complement eachother.
Even though Burning the Season
might be the most toned down LP in The Flying Eyes catalog, it makes up for this through the dense atmosphere it creates. It is also the most dynamic one, as it doesn’t focus on raging rockers, being quite the opposite in fact. Each song has its laid back moments interspersed with heavier ones, making them less predictable as well. Concentrating on quality rather than quantity, these Baltimore natives prove once more they are one of the most reliable bands in the genre. Dig it!