October 24, 2002

Test Spin

Print More

One would think that combining the talents of three members of different legendary rock bands — Krist Novaselic of Nirvana, Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets, and Bud Gaugh of Sublime — would result in a super-group with an explosive sound. Much to the chagrin of long-time fans, the first Eyes Adrift album does not live up to its members’ previous bands’ work.

Eyes Adrift’s self-titled debut sounds like an experiment. As to be expected with most first albums, they appear to be searching for their niche and unfortunately haven’t quite found it yet as apparent by this LP’s lack of coherent unity. Eyes Adrift’s extremely mellow music borrows some elements of folk-rock — very different from Nirvana’s grunge, the Meat Puppets’ rootsy punk, or the ska-esque Sublime.

Several tracks on Eyes Adrift stand out, namely “Sleight of Hand,” “Untried,” and “Pasted.” Highly dull, redundant songs that move backwards rather than forwards grace the rest of the album (“Alaska,” “Telescope,” and “Slow Race”). For the most part, the music is impressive and relaxing. The lyrics and vocals, on the other hand, are extremely weak. The album lacks the emotion and feeling that should accompany its music. Kirkwood severely limits his vocal range to a handful of notes, while Novaselic squeals on three tracks with his hollow, off-key voice. The vocals simply don’t enhance this album. As Kirkwood sings in “What I Said,” “Silence is better than nothing.” Maybe Eyes Adrift will think about that line before their follow-up.

Archived article by Paul Albini