Friday, December 30, 2011

REVIEW// Eatliz: Teasing Nature

     Eatliz is an Israeli art rock sextet, experimental and alternative and somewhat sensational! However, when I put the words 'art' and 'rock' together, people tend to conjure up the image of 'glam rock', David Bowie style! They hear mention of 'art' and see platform boots and glitter, theatrical and overdone and fairly flamboyant. I prefer 'avante-garde' instead. Think of Radiohead and 'Kid A'; The Beatles and Sgt Peppers. A fair proportion of people don't associate these musical triumphs with art rock, yet they're considered pioneers of the genre! Eatliz formed back in 2001 and have since released three albums, 'Teasing Nature' being their latest and greatest to date. Within these twelve tracks and forty-five fantastic minutes the magnificent amalgamation of power and passion and individuality synonymous with art rock strides into the lime-light and thrives there. It's not an arrogance, but rather a certain pre-possessed entitlement to the throne of performing. These five guys and leading lady were made to make music like this, and I for one am prepared to bow before their majesty! Every number here manages to exist as a unique construction and yet co-exist as a single glorious entity. Apparently Eatliz's live performances are nothing short of a 'visual treat'. A listen through 'Teasing Nature' and I'm forced to agree. With sounds like these, the group can do no wrong on stage. A captivating and wholly mesmerising experience, this record has over the past few days never left my side. It's an album of acclaim, focused and genre blending in its obvious, unparalleled determination to be great! My adulation is abundant!
     'Your House' opens 'Teasing Nature' on an intriguingly ominous, tension-fuelled note. A set of spacey drums and tinkling sonic raindrops patter upon the evening road, the vocals alien in their pitch and subtle reverberation. At 1:20 all the instruments accumulate into an incredible chorus of shorts, the guitar riffs heavy and the pounding drums awe-inspiring. A particularly stunning note at 2:57 is amplified by the softness of its predecessors. It's sang with such beauty and strength you simply cannot hate it. The male and female harmonies in 'Zoo' are apt in their primal and unrelenting supremacy. The quiet delicacy of "bite your head off" made me smile, a technique used throughout the track. Soft moments broken by interludes of fierce, semi-aggressive vibe. 'Berlin's playful guitar reveals an instrumental ability far beyond that of many modern rockers. It has some nice computerised vocals and a layering that builds and builds into this noisy, furious climax. Followed by 'OK', a number full of fleeting echoes and metal-esque backing vocals and riffs, I'm continually amazed at the diversity that Eatliz manage to pull off! 'Falling Up', with all of its abrasive guitar and velvety singing is equally stunning and before you know it 'Got It' has arrived. These three minutes are possibly the calmest on the album, and mark its midpoint with their piano-led melodies and alluring vocal phrases! I'm probably writing too much, but the album's great!
     'Lose This Child' is track number seven, Lee Triffon's crystalline singing soaring above the harmonies and trumpet solos and providing the most accessible song on the record. A couple of breaks are fuelled by nostalgic reminiscence as the jazz-inspired vibe lights up a rainy midweek afternoon. The sound of speeding cars is muffled and the few crowds have departed. A singularity comes to light. A purpose. A peace. Disturbed by 'Nine', an upbeat three and a half minutes brimming with confident guitar lines that weave throughout these thought-provoking lyrical passages. 'Voice Over' didn't do much for me other than expand on what we've already heard. The album wouldn't have suffered without it, but the human warmth that radiates from the ending leads nicely into 'Goldie'. Enchanting vocalese from Lee seem to beguile the male singer like a siren of old. The mans repeated lines are sang with a wonderful fascination. 'Tears' and 'Mystical Lady' close 'Teasing Nature'. The title of which is taken from the former track, a number of structured chorus and calm serenity. A beautiful, chaotic conclusion contrasts this, while 'Mystical Lady' ends the album with that perfect balance of eccentricity and accessibility, outstanding production complimenting the outstanding keyboard driven instrumentals. Eatliz and 'Teasing Nature' are simply a must!
      Both 'Zoo' and 'Berlin' can be downloaded from free from this sextet's Bandcamp page but in all seriousness the full twelve tracks are worth every penny of your money! Stream the opening track 'Your House' below and then check out 'Teasing Nature' right over here! Head over to Eatliz's website to stream some live videos if you like what you heard - Eatliz!