East Coast heavy music purveyors Eye Flys first showed up with 2019's relentless but relatively brief EP Context. With just six songs and a running time of around 13 minutes, that EP packed in an overpowering number of sludgy riffs, noisy breakdowns, and examples of vocalist/guitarist Jake Smith's unhinged aggression. Tub of Lard, the band's first full-length, expands on the rage and intensity of the EP, with sharper song construction and a more blunt delivery of uneasy themes. Eye Flys (made up of pedigreed players from well-known metal and grind acts like Backslider and Full of Hell) take their name from a Melvins song, and the anxious, grating riffs and powerful drums that the Melvins based their sound on are also a huge component of these songs. The simmering "Not Ready for Tomorrow" grinds in a similar style as Ozma-era Melvins, with the added churn of Jesus Lizard-esque bass/guitar interplay and waves of ugly noise overtaking the mix from time to time. The entire Amphetamine Reptile roster of the early '90s could be looked to as influences for Eye Flys, with moments that recall Helmet's precision, Unsane's brutality, and the lawless dissonance of noisier acts like Godheadsilo or Steel Pole Bath Tub. Not merely an update to another generation's angst, Eye Flys are set apart by Smith's straightforward lyrical presentation and the intentionality that guides the band. "Nice Guy" addresses rape culture in bold terms, decimating predatory mindsets with the fury of Henry Rollins in his earliest days with Black Flag. Smith's uncontainable energy pushes the album deeper into the red, whether stewing in the resentment left behind from a bullied childhood on "Tubba Lard" or spitting bile at corporate greed on the crawling "Guillotine." Smith's powerful performances, along with the unexpected electronic noise textures that disrupt the songs, make Tub of Lard an impressive, overwhelmingly raw debut. It's an excellent expansion of the strengths they showed on their EP, pushing into new, ugly places while taking notes from the more depraved chapters of sludgy metal that came before.
AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas