Eyeless In Gaza
Kodak Ghosts Run Amok – Chronological Singles, etc., 1980-86
((C) BRED 73, 45’s collection etc., Feb 1987, Lp/Cassette)
by Dave Jennings (1987, first death of Eyeless)
Subtitled ‘Chronological Singles, etc., 1980-86’, this compilation is likely to be the final release from the recently separated Eyeless pair. It serves as a kind of self-composed obituary, gathering together evidence of their most creative moments and at the same time making it clear why they were out of time.
In their early days, in the early Eighties, Pete Becker and Martyn Bates made music to stare sadly into space by. Sensitivity was fashionable then, and the first side of this LP reflects both the postive and negative aspects of that state of affairs. The songs are free from Beastie-al sexism, but are sung with passion verging on incoherence, Bates wailing and railing against loneliness and loss. Sometimes the result is gripping, a dazzling emotional fire; at other times the relentless intensity gets overbearing.
By 1983 – the start of Side Two – they’d seemingly cheered up and become more sociable. The solemn minor-chord chimes of the earlier material had been replaced by sunny harmonies, jangles and keyboard washes; but, even in the face of such genuinely uplifting things as ‘New Risen’ and ‘Sun Bursts In’, the radio failed to respond. Which is a small shame; had it done so, Tears For Fears might have been eclipsed by something similar but superior with fiercer voices and stronger, more detailed songs.