[sic] Magazine

Bill Baird – Diamond Eyepatch

Oakland resident and Austin native Bill Baird is a lifer. In the early 2000s he was part of Sound Team and, in a move he now regrets, signed to Capital Records. In fact, he describes the experience as a “death sentence”. Undeterred, he’s been prolific since however, recording both under his own name and as {{{Sunset}}}. With a somewhat varied style during this time, Baird may always have been gravitating towards today’s star-crossed bedfellow Moon Glyph, whom we now have to thank for the release of his kaleidoscopic Diamond Eyepatch cassette.

While the flip is entirely instrumental experimentation culminating in Baird’s own arrangement of avant-garde pianist Erik Satie’s “Sonneries De La Rose + Croix”, side A sees him return to the happy hunting grounds of off-the-wall psyche-pop. Thus, there’s an inevitable Ariel Pink vibe to the colourful “Luby’s Purgatory”, its dreamy tone and heavy reverb equally reminiscent of Finnish newcomer Jaakko Eino Kalevi. Revelling in its budget capture (but far from limited by it), “Skull Castle Decorator” is inventive and interesting, a sort of space-psyche in which Baird’s marauding bass-tone is a deft foil for the track’s sci-fi shimmer, his vocal hit with so much delay as to seem like a time-lag duet.

Deliciously warped, “Trapped In Paradise” is in turn an undulating odyssey through the hallways of drunken psyche-pop, the track’s strangled synth scales adding texture, depth and character. Closing the side with a dizzying 10-minute suite during which Baird “contemplates the abyss”, murky guitar drones are punctuated by clear-as-day melodies, Baird – the eternal optimist – enviably digging the fun out of projects now defunct as he goes.

Best tracks: “Skull Castle Decorator” and “Trapped In Paradise”

~The Diamond Eyepatch cassette is out now on Moon Glyph.~