THE PEELED EYE (review BILL MEYER, @dustedinc )

The four men who make up The Peeled Eye have been around a while now, long enough to forget first impressions. Certainly nothing about their self-titled debut is going to make you remember the restrained and/or minimal sounds of efzeg, Kahn-Korber-Weber, Trapist or SSSD. While a snapshot of Boris Hauf (baritone saxophone), Martin Siewert (guitar), Christian Weber (bass), and Steve Heather (drums) might cue you to think you’re going to hear jazz, what comes out of the speakers when you put the stylus down is more of a Godzilla tap-dance. Heather drums like a machine-gunner clearing out a field, Hauf’s horn flails like the tail of a toppled brontosaurus, and the guitar and drums careen like they’re crashing an audition for The Ex. The opening tune may be named “Kind Of,” but there’s nothing tentative about its determined heaviosity.

There is, however, a strategic side to The Peeled Eye’s music that refutes parts of the description proffered above. They might sound like they’re flailing, but each blow lands exactly where it’s intended. The combo’s dynamics move too fluidly from pummel to scrabble to be accidental, and when they want to ease up, the complementarity of their contrasts is far too effective to be the product of chance. “Heavy Quarters,” which occupies the second half of side one, proceeds through a sequence of bleak mood inducers — triggered film samples, slow stomp, Sonic Youth-like guitar screams — like an effective film soundtrack.

[…] The meaty satisfaction dealt by The Peeled Eye suggests that free improv apprenticeship is a worthy pre-rock tutelage.

Bill Meyer