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Eyes Adrift

Eyes Adrift

Format: CD   Release Date: 02/04/2003
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Considering the pedigree of the supergrouping that a trio consisting of a Meat Puppet, someone who was Sublimed, and Krist himself, Eyes Adrift came and went with little fanfare in 2002. One listen to the group's eponymous debut shows that to be the whole point. Curt Kirkwood blew up the Meat Puppets' lineup once before, for 2000's Golden Lies, and Eyes Adrift is for all intents and purposes a new, theoretically improved version of the seminal group, augmented with members of two other bands whose protagonists' deaths stopped them in their prime. This tripling could have been about unfinished business, or it could have been about starting anew in the face of adversity, but in reality, the project is more like a trio of kindred souls who don't much care about their resumés, and what happens when they all get together around a campfire to jam on a few of their favorite new melodies, with no pressure or strings attached. Nothing makes this more apparent than disc-closer, "Pasted," something Neil Young could have done with Crazy Horse, with a noticeable psychedelic tinge. The cut lasts 15 minutes, most of them a rambling frenzy of country feedback and jazzy backbeats, and it seems to last twice as long as even that. Even the songcraft with more traditional times of duration that makes up the remainder of Eyes Adrift didn't set the charts on fire, and barring a sudden demand for downplayed alt-country with the alternative ingredient being insinuated moments of hazy remembrances of feedbacking past more than anything actually dynamic on its own, never will; the disc languidly slacks by as if the songs themselves are disinterested if you follow along or not, a collage not unlike Kirkwood's past in many ways, but also not like it, especially given the lack of all manner of songs built on a crunch rather than a twang exclusively. (Well, "Telescope" does chew and lurch a little bit, but in the most unremarkably indistinctive way, and it's still the best track on the record.) Never mind the commercial implications, Eyes Adrift also failed to spark the imagination of the critically discerning, and the reason is simple: Critics rarely appreciate self-indulgent moves, even from -- especially from -- musicians who can afford the luxury, and this record reeks of such hedonism. Even if you get past that, you're left with an hour that barely registers above mediocrity. If the band doesn't care if you like it, you shouldn't feel obligated either way, so don't. ~ Brian O'Neill, Rovi

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