The consolation of math rock is that the unexpected is expected. The listener is often presented with a non-conventional sensory overload and, as the music finishes, are left picking up the many pieces and trying to make sense of them. And Alabama three piece Eyes On Lips have hit this nail on the head with Sounds From A Theme Park, yes sir.
For better or worse, our contemporary math rock age is one of tappity noodly major-chord guitar pabulum. In Eyes On Lips’ debut, however, the band disembark from trope-ville and instead forge a sound that gels more with the unpredictable and non-conventional nature of 90’s math rock with its angular chord progressions, punk aesthetic, weirdly punctuated song structures and paucity of lavish effects and ‘twinkles’. Don’t get moi wrong here, modern math rock fans will no doubt enjoy the complexity of Sounds From A Theme Park (refer ‘Mossy Carousel’ and ‘Ferris Squeal’). But it is hard not to hear elements of, say, A Minor Forest and Faraquet in tracks like ‘Bumper Cart Coffin’ and ‘Death On The Rollercoaster’. Sounds that just don’t fit the mold of your run-o-the-mill three-piece band.
Mixing innovation with nostalgia Sounds From A Theme Park works both as a reflection of contemporary math rock and a bona fide trip down memory lane.