[sic] Magazine

The Living Eyes – Living Large

Turns out you can’t get too much of good thing. There’s not much in the way of originality on The Living Eyes’s second full-length Living Large but it doesn’t matter one jot because, just as per contemporaries Thee Oh Sees and Black Lips (see the weird bounce and warped shred of “Low Life”), they survive on an incessant stream of catchy melodies and hook-heavy, hedonistic garage-rock slacking.

The Aussie four-piece are led by Billy Gardner, who also runs the Antifade label on which Living Large was first released as well as playing in Ausmuteants and Wet Blankets in his spare time, and when they needed someone to record the album they knew just who to call. You’ll thus find Straight Arrows’ frontman Owen Penglis at the controls and it’s pretty obvious, the parallels between his superlative Rising LP from last year numerous. We’re talking, of course, about mildly psychedelic 60s sounds.

Living Large starts brilliantly too, the frenetic tempos, blurred lines and muffled melodies of “High Standards” given backbone by chunky guitar angles and super-sharp drumming. The wave of snotty rock ‘n’ roll struts that follow blows away moments of melancholy with crunching garage riffs and Gardner’s scuffed mid-fi vocal. Only two of these fast-paced pop Nuggets top 3 minutes and “Guilty Pleasures” steps up it still further, aiming to whip the face clean off the skull with sub-2 minutes of proto-punk barbs and pure garage-thrash. You’ll spin Living Large so often you’ll wear the grooves out of all 10 tracks.

Best track: “High Standards”

~Living Large gets its UK release January 19th 2015 via Agitated. Originally released 2014 via Antifade.~