Human Eye

4: Into Unknown

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After a freaky albeit very good release on Sacred Bones, Human Eye switched to Goner in 2013 for the more straightforward 4: Into Unknown. If They Came from the Sky was the Detroit art-punks' voyage into psychedelic space rock à la Funkadelic or the Mothers of Invention, then this release finds the band getting down to brass tacks and exposing their muscular Detroit roots. In a straighter style, more akin to the garage punk sound of Goner's roster, Timmy Vulgar and his band channel the raw fury of Iggy & the Stooges with the blasted distortion of "Buzzin' Flies," and the dramatic muscle of early Alice Cooper with the riff-charged power ballad "Outlaw Lone Wolf." Most of these songs are lean and mean -- equal parts impressive grooves, monstrous guitar riffs, frantic drumming, and proto-punk attitude -- but there are still some space rock detours along the way within the swirling organ effects, the bubble-up delays, and in Vulgar's far-out lyrics, denoted by the song title "Surface of Pluto," one of the stand-out tracks. While Human Eye's music fits within the margins of stoner rock and pulls from the gut-punching, crash 'n' bash foundation of hard rock from the late '60s to the mid-'70s; unlike many of their peers they are capable of intermingling their own exciting influence, rather than just delivering simple hero worship. A solid romp straight through, 4: Into Unknown is the closest the band has come to making high ambitions and dumb rock meet comfortably.

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