Bed of Eyes

Crimp in the Facts

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Having a guy dressed as a priest in front of a church -- albeit a priest wearing a frilly pink tutu in front of a church -- makes for an arresting front cover visual image, at the least. But the music? Not as immediately eye-catching, or rather ear-catching, but still fun enough stuff. LA's Bed of Eyes quite happily were out of sync with most mid-'90s trends -- no grunge, no neo-crossover punk -- but like semi-fellow travelers Possum Dixon, they merrily crunched bits from rock's past, near and far, into one presentable package. Lead guy Dave Matke has a half-drawl, half-singing voice, and while he and fellow guitarist/vocalist Kim Quinlan aren't immediately calling up the not-quite-ghosts of X in their various duets, together the two kick it well enough. The rhythm section, with Ronnie Smith on drums and Chelsea Starr on bass, keeps things moving nicely, and the overall result is a catchy collection of poppish but not explicitly/stereotypically power-pop rock & roll. "Understanding of Love," which appears in two separate versions, is the best of the tunes on offer, with some sharp guitar work and an understated but memorable chorus. The second take, subtitled "Jr.," has a slower pace that brings out the musical sass and swing of the song well. Other songs worthy of note are "Wreckage," a queasy, slower-paced number with some nicely frazzled guitar work in the break, and "Dragnet," which has a nice barb to it. Ostensibly a nostalgic celebration of the noted TV show, the lyrics slip in various digs about its "sexist attitude" and about showing how clean LA was. Given the L.A.P.D.'s various early '90s problems, the song takes on just that much more of a bite as a result.

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