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Eyes Adrift
Eyes Adrift
spinART Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Well what do we have here- another rock and roll super group? That would certainly seem to be the case with Eyes Adrift, composed of Curt Kirkwood on guitar and vocals, Krist Novoselic on bass and vocals and Bud Gaugh on drums. Novoselic being that lanky, pogoing goon who played bass for Nirvana, and Kirkwood you'll remember from the Meat Puppets, who Nirvana made famous by covering their otherwise completely obscure redneck drug rock songs for MTV's Unplugged. And Gaugh, well he was in that most horrible of post-mortem success stories, Sublime. No, he's not the guy who's dead - that was the singer. Bud was the drummer.

So these three fellas have gotten together to form Eyes Adrift, presumably because the Meat Puppets went into the shitter when Kirkwood booted his band members, including his brother Cris, for an assemblage of studio musicians. I guess you'd also have to factor in the fact that Novoselic's last highly visible project, Sweet 75, didn't fare so well with fans or the press, and who can deny that Sublime was worse than No Doubt? So, as the story goes, these three losers got together to form a band.

In addition to his usual drumming duties, Bud played synthesizer on "Pyramids," and Jimmy Shortell played trumpet on "Sleight Of Hand." Curt sang, and so did Krist, who also played some guitar and a 12-string on "Pasted," the 15-minute opus that ends the album. I might be leading you to believe that Eyes Adrift is musical poison, but in truth it isn't that bad. It just isn't really that good either. "Sleight of Hand" opens the album quietly, with Kirkwood's usual vocal intonation and minimal percussion backing it, the bass not really making much of a mark but the trumpet adding a nice flair. "Alaska" could have easily fit on a Meat Puppets' album and doesn't really do all that much to dispel the notions that Eyes Adrift are anything more than an early-90s flashback for a couple of drug fiends.

When Novoselic's contributions become more evident in "Inquiring Minds", the results are mixed. The track is an overt reference to Jean Benet Ramsey with the chorus "they put flowers on your grave Jean Benet" and Kirkwood's ringing guitar over-dub gives it a swirling quality that fleshes it out more than the previous tracks. While Novoselic's vocals seem forced at first, the moment that Kirkwood's contrived psychedelic-country whine strolls in from Too High To Die and ties up at the hitchin' post on "Untried" I find myself longing for Novoselic's nasal monotone.

Nearly halfway through the album and "Blind Me" is still a more mellowed version of the Meat Puppets, and although there are some more soothing moments to the album, for the most part it just creeps me out because it's so formless. Eyes Adrift isn't bad for a cop-out album by three dudes who have habits to feed, but it is about as far from inspired as I could imagine them getting. But hey, who cares - you can listen to the whole album for free at http://www.eyesadrift.com/music.asp, and if you decide you really like it drop me a line - I've got a copy to sell you cheap.

Reviewed by Lukas Shipman

See other reviews by Lukas Shipman



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