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The Iron Eye – ‘Foreign Bodies’ EP.

 

The Iron Eye – ‘Foreign Bodies’ EP.

The Iron Eye is a three piece from Brisbane, Australia who have put together the, ‘Foreign Bodies’ EP due out on the 18th of November 2016. First thing you notice on this is the production value and the mix in particular. It has Tom Larkin of New Zealand’s heavyweights Shihad in the producer’s chair and Sam K twiddling the knobs on the console. It’s a clean mix but there is a rawness about it as well, like the trio wandered in from the street, gave it a whack (albeit a well-rehearsed whack) and produced a crystal clear recording with a bit of swagger.

Just getting back to Tom Larkin and Shihad for a moment. The Iron Eye supported them on a New Zealand tour and got some seriously good reviews. Not bad for a fresh band, with a new EP, touring with NZ rock royalty. So let’s look at the EP and find out what all the fuss is about.

It has five tracks on it. Five tracks of sort of rock, sort of prog, a little alternative and a lot of talent. The first track Culpa has the far off vocal and the big drum sound of the Arctic Monkeys (think Dancing Shoes crossed with anything from Humbug) but the song changes and morphs as we go through it’s, ‘just right for radio’ four minute duration. You could be cruel or very kind and say that it ends up sounding as late 60s Brit pop. But it’s a solid track and an interesting kick-off to the EP.

As we drop to track two and, ‘Just Started’ I’m thinking this is a different band. It has a Franz Ferdinand feel to it within the opening few bars, but then the riff comes in and I’m transported back to a point in time watching Melbourne band Kingswood. This is straight up rock, with verse and chorus that burrows into your ear and sets up camp, occasionally coming out as a sing-a-long at some time of the day. Smart tuneage and catchy writing come together in a sound that is appealing and accessible. As we start the outro I’m thinking this could be Dead City Ruins as we have totally taken it up a gear. Another great track and no surprise that this has been released as a single.

The title track is up next and although the vocal is the same far off, reverby, solid rock voice, we have a digital feel at the start. That breaks down into a heavy riff but again I keep coming back to the catchy, stop go riffing of Franz Ferdinand, this time is the track Love Illumination which has jumped into my head. But this is harder than that, but just as memorable as the song drop little hooks that limpet on to you and pull you in. This is tight writing and, though not meant as an insult, is commercial radio ready. Where Do You Go is the next track and we are solidly in the thicker side or alternative rock. The vocal is tight, the beat is danceable and the guitar manages to be washed out and grungey at the same time. About three minutes in The Iron Eye take it up a notch and the outro is throbbing rock, taking us to fade and a chance to back out and find out what happened in that track. Best track on the EP as far as I’m concerned as it’s a corker. This is what The Iron Eye does for you. They tell you one thing, do another and then take it up notch after notch, continually flipping direction.

Silence is the last track on the EP. It should have been called Summation because it’s everything that we’ve learned about the band wrapped up in six minutes. This is perhaps the rawest track on the EP, probably the most experimental and no doubt a favourite when played live. Am I the only one that gets the Muse in this?

Throughout this well produced, well played and constantly changing EP I have heard band upon band. That’s doesn’t mean that this is a copy or a homage of another act, it’s just my ears zeroing into music that I listen to often. I have no doubt however that in the current Australian market that The Iron Eye are unique. The trick for them is to pull off this technical quality and buzz when they hit the stage.

The Iron Eye’s EP, Foreign Bodies, is well worth a listen and needs your attention. For those that want to get amongst it, you should check out the single Just Started. Those that live dangerous and looking for a bit of action go to the last track and give Silence a listen. In fact the whole EP is worth your time and energy as I have no doubt that these guys will be touring with a name soon and, assuming that they can pull off this technical quality live, let’s get on board.

Review – Craig Grant

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