ARTIST: Eyes (USA)
ALBUM: We're In It Together
LABEL: Quiet Cannon
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: James Christian - guitars, vocals * Philip Stoltie - bass, flutes and vocals * Richie Catalano - drums and percussion * Jerry Green - keyboards * Jeff Batter - additional keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Deeper In Love * 02 Back Seat Driver * 03 California By Morning * 04 Thinking It Over * 05 We Better Get Along * 06 It's Over * 07 First Of Winter * 08 In The City * 09 Starland * 10 If I Had Wings To Fly
I must confess the exact origins of this band remain a mystery, though judging by the album liner notes I assume they hailed from Connecticut, and I understand they were formed from the ashes of prog rock outfit Jasper Wrath
. Being lucky enough to possess a copy of this AOR/pomp/prog gem, it's easy to see why you rarely see this album for sale, other than for big bucks. If I was to use a description to sum up the music on 'We're In It Together' the word 'tasteful' would spring to mind. In short, this record will appeal to fans of Brother Bait
, The Biz
, and their ilk. Naturally being a pomp rock band, the members were all highly accomplished musicians and there's a wealth of instrumentation going on here, though it's never tedious and overlong, a crime that some of their contemporaries operating in the same genre were guilty of. The proverbial icing on the cake is the immaculate vocal harmonies, yet another staple ingredient for any great pomp band.
Opener 'Deeper In Love' has a slightly west coast feel about it, like the late 1970's AOR peddled by Player
(on their debut). Guitarist James Christian cranks up the guitar several notches for 'Back Seat Driver', a fine guitar driven pomp rocker with exquisite vocal harmonies, embellished by tasteful keyboards. 'California By Morning' is soft pomp similar to the likes of Canadian band September
, whereas the penultimate track on side one, 'Thinking It Over', is an epic ballad with robust guitar on the chorus and climaxing with wailing synths. Side one peaks Everest
style with 'We Better Get Along' - a fine slice of strutting pomp rock. The lush AOR continues on side two with 'It's Over' and it's sumptuous vocal harmonies. This song is embellished with Phillip Stoltie's flute playing. Normally the very idea of having a flute player in an AOR/Pomp band to my mind is as painful as undergoing major dental surgery without the use of anaesthetic (see my comments on Fairchild
). Though I have to admit somewhat grudgingly that it works well here, as well as on the track 'In The City'. 'Starland' has an infectious chorus and great spacey keyboard effects, and the album closes with 'If I Had The Wings To Fly' a wonderfully overblown piece of pomp with a galloping bassline and James Christian's strident guitar.
I admit to having a soft spot for this band, and I've played this album incessantly ever since I managed to get hold of the album a few months ago. I'd love to know what happened to Eyes. Perhaps the likes of our friend Eric Abrahamsen could enlighten me?
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