Eyeless in Gaza are an art/post-punk duo from Nuneaton. They formed in 1980 and are named after the Aldous Huxley novel of the same name. The music flits between cinematic ambience, industrial funk, avant-garde folk and more standard rock and pop. Mania Sour is their 18th album. The songs herein are assertive and raucous and filled with the ardour and snap you’d expect from Martyn Bates and Peter Becker.
6/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 21 October 2015
Hiya. Wow, 80's post-punk legends Eyeless In Gaza (a.k.a Martyn Bates and Peter Becker) re-emerge with a new record "Mania Sour" for 2015. I knew they were still doing the rounds but I'm amazed to hear a complete record of new material from the duo, and good for them! Eyeless In Gaza, along with post-punk contemporaries Talk Talk helped reshape the musical landscape of punk and post-punk in 80's Britain bringing melody and experimentation back to the forefront and generally fucking with the conventions of what a record could and should be. I'm not massively familiar with the group but they've certainly made some fine contributions to the genre and influenced a bunch of bands with it.
"Mania Sour" sounds like a couple of old mates regaling old times down the pub. Gone are the field recordings and deep studio experimentation that permeated their mid-career period, replaced instead with the rudimentary guitars and drums set-up that defined early outings "Photographs As Memories" and "Caught In Flux". As a result this record sounds kinda ruff n' ready. At a guess I'd say much of the performance was captured live and there's some dynamic shifts in production that suggests this was either captured over a long period of time or in a number of recording environments. What does remain consistent is the Bates unmistakably 80's vocal tone and those wired, chorus heavy guitars. There's some nice moments here but nothing that strikes me as glaringly advanced by comparison to previous works.
Saying that it's sturdy, reliable stuff with plenty of dynamic changes to engage you over it's fifteen tracks. I'm sure those of you that are fans will be absolutely delighted to have a new collection of tunes from the lads. So yeah, enjoy.
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- Mania Sour by Eyeless In Gaza
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