After “Burdened Hands” of 2004, “Consumption” is the 2nd release of Detroit-based band Eyestrings. Keyboardist Ryan Parmenter wrote the lyrics and most of the music. Some people will think Parmenter ... I do know this name. You are right, Ryan's uncle is Matthew Parmenter the big man behind the band Discipline. Remember that brilliant album “Unfolded like staircase”. Or maybe you are familiar with his solo release “Astray”. Both essential albums for the progressive rock fan. Why talking about Discipline ... well there is another link. Eyestrings bassist Mathew Kennedy was also present on both aforementioned albums. After listening to this album I'm sure that Discipline fans will also like the music of this Eyestrings release.
Mathew Kennedy - bass, Moog, Theremin; Ryan Parmenter - voice, keyboard, Rhodes; Alan Rutter - electric & acoustic guitars, supporting voice; Bob Young - drums, djembe, tabla, percussion.
The album opens with a short track called “All sales final” (2:02) which includes some mysterious percussion (djembe and tabla) that gives a nice contrast to the acoustic guitar. Then the band burst into a heavy King Crimson opening in “Valid for a week” (11:48). After that the melody returns first with broad Mellotron sounds and then with acoustic guitar and delicate percussion before the band explodes again with heavy progmusic with a lot of King Crimson influences. Well your reviewer is awake now ... what is happening here ... this is a special one! The next track is called “Stagnant” (4:54) which is a beautiful melodic song with delicate guitar work. A nice track before the next killer track will reach you.
“Code of tripe” (12:04) is written by Mathew Kennedy and Ryan Parmenter and is one of the gems on this album. The opening could be described as an mix of Van der Graaf Generator (the organ) and King Crimson (the guitar work). Then the tone of the composition becomes darker and mysterious. Delicate piano work and vocals which reminds of Peter Hammill or uncle Matthew Parmenter. The electric guitar is circling around the piano while the tension of the piece become more intense. Discipline fans will love this track. The third part “Omega land” has a lighter tone with acoustic guitars and a delicate piano. In the last part “Fallout” it becomes more heavy but the composition stays melodic. “Slate clean” (7:17) opens with intriguing bass work and some jazzy guitar work. The vocal harmonies and melodies are just great. In the second part of track the electric guitar is at one point heavy and aggressive and then again jazzy and relaxed. “Groove seven” is an instrumental track with some Echolyn, King Crimson and Gentle Giant influences. If this is combined with broad keyboard strings we are entering prog heaven!
And I haven't told you about the closing track “Lifelines” (20:00)
the magnus opus of this album. The vocals in the part “Intervention” are
sung in a way that the melody stays the important factor. “Puppet” is
more uptempo and intense while the next part “Traces” is
very delicate and is full of beautiful melodies. In “Cordpuller” the
tension is slowly building up and there is delicious keyboard work
in this part. “Vox populi” is
the grand finale of this amazing composition.
Whow ... I want to hear this album again!
Most of the time it will take a while before I will write the review of a new album. I'm used to listen several times to it before I even think of reviewing the album. But now I noticed that this album is very special. And I had to tell you about it right away! It is again an independent release that touched my progressive heart. Eyestrings has with “Consumption” made a very strong album with intelligent progmusic. The compositions are varied and performed with passion. The music is sometimes dark but not so dark as most of Matthew Parmenter's work. I like dark and melancholic music but I think Eyestrings can reach a bigger audience. If you like real adventurous progressive music you must try this one. And if you like the music that Ryan Parmenter's uncle made with Discipline I'm sure you will like this album too. Don't tell that you didn't knew ... check out Eyestrings!