Opening with “Verge,” most of EYES main levels of intrigue comes from their ability to format elements of conflicting genres together as one arching scythe. Combing through rows of notes like fields of wheat, EYES on Underperformer is rambunctious but never appearing to be a complete uncaged animal. All the tracks featured have immaculately precise direction and the fragments of harsh noise and hardcore that blend continues to be a makeshift monument of sound.
Blasting with lyrics that describe, “Now it hides from the sun, now it’s withering on. Used to be up for a challenge, now it’s a challenge every day. Used to be up for a challenge, a small flower wasting away.” The instrumentation here is less gritty in performance as it is packed with dynamite for the emotion. While the mixing and recording of Underperformer is ultimately an immensely clean album, the true grit comes from the delivery rather than the plate it sits upon.
Tracks that follow like “Choke” are delicious however with bass mixed with percussive breaks and sections that obliterate rather than construct. The howls here are lengthy and nestle perfectly with the guitar that is more of a shrieking beast than an identifiable instrument. Describing, “Darkness, embraced by sickness once again. False Friends, surrounded by them time and time again.” The instrumentation shifts to be a wall of noise that stops the listener dead in the tracks as the screams describe, “Choking on my life, choking on my life.”
Almost shrouded in morbid desolation for hope, EYES does their absolute best when the performance is a meat grinder where the audience is being thrown in feet first. Especially on “Swim” which feels more like drowning under tidal waves of abusive instrumentation; Underperformer lives and breathes for these moments. Just the constant hammer and anvil tactic of movement from EYES here is almost an art to how it can seem intricate and delicate, but impossible to destroy.
Less about the joy of life and more about finishing a job, EYES is an undertaker here that does strictly business on Underperformer. They bury the audience with clean production but downright dirty instrumentation progression and carve an initial mark with their debut of hopefully many records in the future.