After five years of touring and the release of a cassette EP and a pair of singles, lo-fi noise pop/garage punk fence sitters Radar Eyes hone in on their mix of spacey synth, squalling guitar and reverb-clouded harmonies to craft a fresh, focused full-length debut. Though their sound owes equally to early-'70s Brian Eno, Creation Records at its peak, and contemporaries of their Chicago home base like the Ponys, Radar Eyes strikes a balance among those influences, eschewing art rock noodling or extended feedback freakouts for a more urgent pace while still bringing something more complex and layered to the table than, say, their average HoZac labelmate. Radar Eyes explores fierce post-punk ("In Love"); jangly, druggy riffs on the Byrds ("Miracle"), and the Yardbirds ("Accident"); new wave and shoegaze combined to a slow burn ("Disconnection"); a dusky trip to the surf ("Summer Chills"), and destinations in between, which in the wrong hands could be bloated or overzealous, but the band pulls it off with its chemistry and cohesive vision. This is most evident in teaser track "I Am," with its childlike keyboard melody, twisting guitar distortion, and gritty gossamer vocals, serving well as the album and band's statement of purpose. Whether a fan of their earlier works or a lover of left-of-the-dial underground rock, set your sights on Radar Eyes for a sharp, unexpected new take on tried-and-true sounds.
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AllMusic Review by Chrysta Cherrie