Alec K. Redfearn and The Eyesores
The Quiet Room


I have to confess this is the first time I've listened to Alec K. Redfearn And The Eyesores. The fact that the music on this CD is somewhat difficult to play well but they play it very well indeed, told me this was a group with a past. A web search revealed a long discography - this being the group's fourth CD, the leader having a longer story.
I had no problems listening to The Quiet Room many times. At one point or another, I was reminded of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Nimal, Gravity-period Fred Frith, some (Balcanic) folk, and a pinch of minimalism. But the mix seemed to work. Timbrally, the leader's (acoustic and electric) accordion is definitely one of the dominating colours; there are also a lot of percussions, a string bass, reeds and brass, electric guitar, some vocals, violin, and various (analog and digital) electronics. The collective sound is dense but never cluttered, the recording is very dynamic, quite clear and very pleasant-sounding.
Due to its variety, the CD sounds a lot longer than it really is. After the short opening track, Simian Fanfare, The Night It Rained Glass On Union Street has a dark, moody development; The Bible Lite is a nice song; the long Punjabi/Watery Grave is a complex composition; The Smoking Shoes ('04) was my favourite song/track on the album, sporting a catchy melody. Slow-mo and Coke Bugs are somewhat disturbing. The title-track is pretty good, while the long, folky-sounding Bulgarian Skin Mechanic proved to be my least favourite track.
The only thing I could say against this CD is that while the music is quite good, and definitely well-played, it's not terribly original or innovative. But I hear a lot of groups whose music isn't innovative either, but that - for one reason or another - magazines say it is. A very nice thing about Alec K. Redfearn And The Eyesores is that they play some complex stuff, which is quite a courageous occupation these days. So I'll suggest readers to give The Quiet Room a spin - s/he could be in for a nice surprise.

Beppe Colli

© Beppe Colli 2005 | March 22, 2005