Eyeless In Gaza
Sixth Sense – The Singles Collection
(CDMRED207, July 2 2002, Cd)
by Jonathan Leonard (Leonardslair.co.uk, 2002)
Of all early 80’s acts very few covered such diversity of style in such a small space of time as the indefinable duo Eyeless In Gaza. Named after an Aldous Huxley horror novel, their early approach featured abrasive, scratchy guitar rhythms. Listening to the likes of ‘Kodak Ghosts Run Amok’ and ‘China Blue Vision’ is like looking through a previously undiscovered window to the past; this work sounds charmingly experimental rather than the cutting edge music of the time and yet nonetheless Martyn Bates’ anguished, frantic vocals melded with Peter Becker’s brave, improvised approach to instrumentation is curiously involving in a manner that transcends mere nostalgic charm. 1982 signalled the sea change as the music conforms to a song-based format with Bates suddenly realising that he should use his pleasant singing voice. This formula would be perfected on 1983’s Rust Red September and that album’s ‘New Risen’ sounds particularly euphoric and is blessed with that charming pop innocence which made The Lotus Eaters sound so special. By Sunbursts In the happy pills were obviously taken in excess as happiness diverts into overly-populist crassness. Even after this they recovered ground and returned to their curious experimental meets improvised electronica meets folk sound. A flawed, yet such an appealingly varied set of singles that is likely to be heard this year.