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Voice - The Best of Eyeless In Gaza

Eyeless In Gaza

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Album Review

Supplanting earlier compilations as the definitive study of Eyeless in Gaza's initial existence, Voice ranges from the spiky post-punk extremes of "Kodak Ghosts Run Amok" to the winning pop-focused aims of "Between These Dreams." Assembled more or less in chronological order, it's a perfect snapshot of the duo's slow evolution toward a more delicate style and delivery, with nearly every song a highlight of the continuing Bates/Becker partnership. Hearing Bates' earlier, near-voice-shredding delivery and the stripped-down sounds of quiet drones, early synths and rhythm boxes from Becker makes for an instructive listen for those more familiar with the more immediately accessible and involved work of the Rust Red September and Back from the Rains days. The combination of strange, unearthly guitar from Bates and Becker's technology sometimes suggests what might have happened had the Durutti Column and early Depeche Mode collaborated. "Speech Rapid Fire" might just be the best synth-pop song few have ever heard, while "Invisibility" lets Bates display what happens when vocal passion doesn't equal "look at me" pretension. Hearing how the band tested out new arrangements, unusual melodies, and a persistent, low-key reinvention makes a great object lesson for how expanding ambitions can work rather than causing someone to artistically stumble. A complete lyric sheet shows well how Bates' atypical lyric approach, many times avoiding rhymes, reads as well as it sounds — a rarity in music. A thorough discography, up to date as of the disc's 1993 appearance, and some archival photos complete the overall package, making Voice the best entry point for those new to the band. Hardcore fans won't need it per se as there are no rarities, but it's a well put together collection for those without CD burners to make their own best-of disc.

Customer Reviews

Best entry point for this band

A lot of people, especially Americans, don't know Eyeless in Gaza, but this great minimal pop band is really worth hearing. And "Voice" is a perfect place to start. iTunes is a great way to buy it because at 10 bucks it's a bargain for a 2cd set, but you'll be missing the big lyric book. Either way, check it out and if you like it, dive into the full albums from there. These are short songs with non-traditional instrumentation (often no drums, just a bit of guitar and synth) but they manage to be catchy, intriguing, and affecting, with great lyrics. Eyeless are a perfect foil to over-produced 80s synthpop a la Depeche Mode -- they're very organic sounding and "homey."

Biography

Formed: 1980

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

Specializing in alternative pop/rock, post-punk, and art rock, the experimental British duo Eyeless in Gaza have enjoyed an enthusiastic cult following since the early 1980s. The music of Eyeless in Gaza has tended to be moody, quirky and atmospheric, drawing on influences that have ranged from Brian Eno, Pink Floyd and Pere Ubu to Roxy Music, David Bowie (especially Bowie's Low/ Heroes/Lodger period of the late 1970s) and the seminal Kraftwerk....
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Voice - The Best of Eyeless In Gaza, Eyeless In Gaza
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