Mad Bliss

Heaven Through Old Eyes

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Five years after their debut 2002 EP, Mad Bliss finally came out with their first full-length album, Heaven Through Old Eyes. It's pretty average alternative/college rock, post-punk-influenced but not wholly mired in post-punk; grounded in guitar arrangements but not jangly; moody, but not wholly bleak. It is a fairly dour record, given to droning tunes, textures, and vocals, as well as ambiguous, hazily mixed lyrics that glow with uncertainty and vague fears and dreads. Judging from the music, the dramatically, half-bellowed words, and the pillows of ominous guitar and bass, it's meant to be stuff for those who like to inhabit the twilight world between idealistic dreams and cold reality. Sometimes there's a bit of funk to the rhythm, some faintly ebullient hard-charging oceanic guitar, or some slightly psychedelic drift to the guitar licks, but more often it's on the downbeat side. It's accomplished within its chosen idiom, but won't turn heads within it either, and could have done with a few more touches to vary the mood.