TV Eyes

TV Eyes

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TV Eyes' lone self-titled release was destined for cult fandom from the very beginning. A collaboration between former Jellyfish members Jason Falkner and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. along with drummer Brian Reitzell, who spent time with both Redd Kross and Air, TV Eyes' pedigree was rich with pop greatness. The genesis of the band dates back to 2000 when Reitzell and Manning were composing a score to an imaginary film called Logan's Sanctuary, a fake sequel to the 1976 sci-fi flick Logan's Run. At Manning's suggestion, they brought in Falkner to sing and play guitar on a couple of tracks, and the former Jellyfish mates' chemistry gelled with Reitzell's own musical sensibilities. Upon completion of the soundtrack, the three conspired to start a new project based on their shared love of early-'80s electropop and post-punk, a decidedly different direction than their power pop pasts. Recording sporadically between 2000 and 2003, the trio members applied their collective intelligence and chops to a set of songs that twisted the angular melodies of bands like Gang of Four and Killing Joke with the metered synth rhythms of Gary Numan and Kraftwerk. From the dark midnight pulse of opener "Over the City" to the percussive sizzle of "Love to Need," it's clear this is no feel-good, '70s rock Jellyfish reunion. The edgy tones, tightly wound beats, and slick synths are laid out with razor precision as Falkner stretches his vocal range over the album's nine stylized songs. Much like their previous bands, TV Eyes seemed to be a band out of time, drawing on past influences yet preceding the massive, '80s-inspired electro revival that would dominate the indie world a decade after this record was made. That it sat on the shelf until its 2006 Japan-only release ensured that TV Eyes would hardly get the chance to succeed, and after only three live shows the project faded out, and the album became a much sought-after, out of print obscurity among hardcore admirers of the involved musicians. Kudos to reissue specialists Omnivore Records for rescuing yet another worthy lost album with their deluxe 2014 release, complete with Falkner-penned liner notes and four bonus cuts.

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