The Eye the Ear and the Arm

Paths

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    7
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The Eye The Ear and the Arm play slightly arty indie rock with a funk-tinged rhythm section on their debut album, Paths. If there are any previous bands or genres to which they look to for inspiration, perhaps King Crimson in their more dance-funk-oriented (such as it was) stage would be one. There's certainly the sense that the mood -- shifting, ominous, and somewhat downbeat, if propulsive -- is more central than the melodies or the songs. The vocals have a staid, slightly despondent quality, sometimes gliding into an upper register that can be slightly reminiscent of David Bowie and Sting. "Playing the Martyr" and "I Give Praise" even sounds a bit like a less cheerful Police, complete with a slight reggae beats, though these aren't that typical of the record. The playing is busy and accomplished, like art rock without some of the virtuosic pretension. But the tracks aren't incredibly varied, projecting the sense of guys with a quizzical, cerebral view of life's circumstances that doesn't incorporate much humor.

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