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Even My Eyes

Skooshny

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Album Review

Skooshny's second release for London's Minus Zero records is comprised of just three "new" songs, circa 1996; the rest of the tracks were songs written between 1992-1994, including the four tracks included on the band's 1992 Holy Land EP. Overall, the collection has a rough and unfinished demo-quality sheen, and while some of the songs themselves are top-notch paeans to broken hearts and shattered dreams, lyrically they're a little clumsy and not as accomplished as songs by others who were doing the same type of thing at the time. Nevertheless, the spirit and approach here is a throwback to a songwriting style more prominent in the '60s — including Love, the Byrds, and the Left Banke — even as it's also inspired by a wide assortment of '80s L.A.-based "paisley pop" influences. Most of the songs are written by guitarist/songwriter/singer Mark Breyer, a few are by guitarist Bruce Wagner, and two are collaborations between them. Drummer David Winogrond doesn't appear on many of the tracks here, replaced instead by computerized drum programs. The collection — co-produced by Beach Boys engineer Jeff Peters — is sparkling with folk-rock jewels, and begins with the serpentine jangling title track, "Even My Eyes," which kicks off with a semi-psychedelic riff fusing an "Eight Miles High"-style riff. Breyer's affected, reedy voice may take some getting used to; he doesn't sound like anyone else in particular, though the careful listener may detect a British inflection now and then. "Holy Land," written by Bruce Wagner, is a more somber ballad, but not as somber as "You Can't Love Me," a demo-ish track highlighted by Breyer's Robyn Hitchcock-ian vocal and guest musician Peters' multi-tracked guitars, keyboards, bass, and computerized drums. Spirited keyboards, oohing background vocals, and a multitude of various acoustic and electric guitars overlap each other on "Private Jokes." The harder-edged and vaguely Love-inspired "Tonight" is probably the most accomplished track overall, especially compared with the track that follows, 1990's appropriately titled "Time Goes Fast."

Biography

Formed: 1971 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Skooshny is an L.A.-based psych-folk-pop trio who originally came together in 1971, a time that singer/guitarist Mark Breyer later said was "too late for the Byrds, too early for R.E.M." Breyer and drummer David Winogrond had been in a Chicago-area trio, Brevity, before moving to L.A. in the early '70s to try their luck on the West Coast. They met guitarist/keyboardist Bruce Wagner after placing an ad in a music publication and he continued to be an on-again/off-again member. Rehearsals proved to...
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Even My Eyes, Skooshny
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