Blue Red might have taken a year to create, but not for lack of diligence. From July 2010 – July 2011 Eyes Lips Eyes wrote, recorded and released direct to fan, one single, one B-side and one video per month all from the confines of their industrial China Town loft in Los Angeles. The twelve songs on Blue Red were astutely chosen from the year of tracking to form an album woven together by constant instrumental stimulation and provocative lyrical-styling, the two distinctive parts of the Eyes Lips Eyes quartet.
The foundation of the group – a trio of bass, drums and guitar – arrange themselves in a way that at times resembles a track meet. On “Bear Trap” they groove in sync through a five-minute haul, building into a fervent, dead heat finish. Meanwhile, “Tickle” resembles a relay as the guitar plays a speedy, jubilant intro/chorus riff, before passing the baton to bass for a bouncy, verse counter-melody of it’s own. The upbeat, hook-laden parts, rehearsed at the band’s loft party-performances, recall elements of Television and other late seventies post punk, mixed with the unbridled, night out energy of The Strokes. Vocalist Tony Hello serves as a counter-weight to the trio, and at times too invokes Julian Casablancas’ or Alex Kapranos’ (Franz Ferdinand) swagger and command of melody. But beginning with opening track “Pretty” with its celebratory refrain of, “Pretty enough to die…” Hello exudes a quirkiness and unpredictability perhaps most akin to David Byrne (who’s song “Psycho Killer” is covered by Eyes Lips Eyes as track three).
Just after finishing Blue Red, the never complacent Eyes Lips Eyes are touring across the Southern half of the U.S. with stops in Austin, Dallas, Miami, Athens and more. They finish the summer headlining the SmashBash in Utah, where they formed in 2007 before relocating to Los Angeles. This fall, the band will head to Seattle to enter the studio with producer/engineer John Goodmanson (Nada Surf, The Gossip, Sleater Kinney) to start work on a new EP.