Fans of Every Time I Die need not be despaired – EYES got us all covered. The controlled chaos that is Congratulations mixes a mathcore-esque, gritty and muddy guitar-driven, undeniably teeth-gnashing instrumentation filled with plenty of twists and turns to boot, while exhibiting some of the most unhinged vocals I’ve heard in this style in quite some time. The band’s vocalist sounding as if on the verge of a total manic breakdown, this album packs all the adrenaline necessary for you to not even just lift any weight at the gym, but likely lift the entire gym building itself. Sitting at literally just one second above a half hour, this little music box of madness will find a spot in the libraries of any fans to acts such as LLNN, Converge, The Chariot, Poison The Well, and Botch.
Congratulations is a waveform rollercoaster. The opener, “Generation L”, signals more than enough to the listener that there is no turning back now that you’ve hit play. You will be immediately immersed in immeasurable intrigue and terror as the ¾-ish mathy grooves tear your sanity apart. Absolutely no punches are pulled for the entirety of the album; between this, “dull BOY”, “Value”, and “Bbbbbbbliss”, you’ll be moshing in your office cubicle when all is said and done.
“Value” being a personal favorite, I was instantly hooked on the memorable riffing as well as full-on high-voltage energy captured in each track. From what I can pick out of the lyrics, this is one of plenty of spots where EYES are making some visceral statements on the human condition, as well some societal aspects as well. Even with the noise and the chaotic elements present, there’s a familiar catchiness resembling old-fashioned punk music here as well. Particularly, I hear this with the middle of the song where the vocalist is chanting ‘No value’ or ‘Low value’, which, going off of just purely what I hear and not actually knowing the lyrics, it sounds as if they alternate between the two.
“Bbbbbbbliss” and “dull BOY” are further proof that the future of noisy, chaotic hardcore is in good hands. Punky, upbeat tracks with high ratings on the danceability scale – these serve as two of my other favorite spots of the album. It’s like taking all the complex aspects and niche qualities of noise rock, but making it something catchy and delightfully accessible. The frantic, fret-sliding guitar heard around 1:18 of “dull BOY” is almost like a more tamed blast from the past of the days of a band like Psyopus.
Did I mention no punches getting pulled throughout the album? Even past the halfway point, once you reach the concluding tracks, “The City” and “Ballast”, the adrenaline ride is still going full speed. It feels as if the album just isn’t really going to end at all. No pauses, no cooldowns, no slowing – just persistent, jarring, layers and layers of audio anarchy; this is noise in its purest iteration, just as God intended it to be.
I cannot overstate the gritty joyride that is Congratulations. Even by about 10 minutes into the album, it is clear to me that Denmark knows what’s up with noise. Specifically, EYES certainly know what’s up with noise, and have proven on this newest release that they do not compromise in quality whatsoever. Even with there being a sort of boundary of style that this album tends to remain in, that boundary feels more like a defined pursuit, carefully carved, than it does any sort of artificial limitation or even an indication of not pushing said boundaries.
Do not sleep on EYES. Do not sleep on Congratulations. Do not miss out on this chaotic party. Get in on the action and listen today!