thu 13/06/2024

Album: EYE - Dark Light | reviews, news & interviews

Album: EYE - Dark Light

Album: EYE - Dark Light

New band from MWWB singer Jessica Ball prove worthy of what came before

Jessica Ball, preparing to haunt your television

Skirting along the peripheries of doom metal, unbeknownst to almost everyone, there existed a band called Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. Hailing from Wrexham, Wales, they created four albums that stand alone in their originality, combining massively bonged-out sludge-riffing with Cocteau-Twins-ish vocalising and Seventies space rock vibes.

They sounded magnificently like no-one else. Now their lead singer, Jessica Ball, reappears with her new band, EYE. The good news is that they righteously match and expand on what came before. MWWB, as their name was eventually abbreviated to, are now on hiatus in the ongoing wake of guitarist Paul “Dave” Davies’s life-changing, COVID-related stroke. Ball relocated to Cardiff and put together EYE with partner Gid Goundrey (of kosmische merchants Ghostlawns). Their debut album acknowledges the wonderfully bludgeoning riffage of her previous band, on the superb, slow-mo’, wading-through-treacle headbangers “See Yourself” and “In Your Night”, but Dark Light draws from a welcome wider palette.

The lyrics are folk-ish, opaque, impressionistic, touched by the seasons, by day and night, the mystic in nature, and loves lost and found. They are given heft by Ball’s keening, mournful vocals, which veer between many of the greats, from Björk to Kate Bush, as the music explores synthy hypnotics and horizontal gothic jangle.

There’s a dolefulness throughout but it’s lifted by the lethargic loveliness of the songs. Highlights include the gorgeous spaced-out “Respair”, the chugging trip-hop blues of “The Other Sees”, a song touched by the spirit of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream”, and the beautiful, psychedelic love ballad, “Rescue You”, which is bathed in both shimmering late night stoned-ness and genuine heart.

Clearly Dark Light is not going to be an album anyone’s bouncing around to. Ariana Grande or Kings of Leon it is not. But within its murky drift there are mesmeric, exciting songs that exist somewhere between the differing musical parameters of Portishead, Gazelle Twin and Sleep. Jessica Ball’s new band see her talents bloom again in a delicious brume-hazed swirl of fresh songs.

Below: watch the video for "The Other Sees" by EYE

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