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Eye Flys is a band centered on fierce precision. Due in part to the considerable pedigree of the band’s lineup (including members of Full of Hell, Backslider, Triac), the east coast-based quartet create steel-barbed riffs and beefy inventive rhythms delivered with exponential force. Their 2019 EP Context was a concise and punishing debut, hinting at the unrelenting abilities Eye Flys holds. On Tub of Lard, expectations are exceeded with 10 songs of maximum impact in their lean and focused raw power.
Tub of Lard does not hold back lyrically. The album takes its title from a jeering and unwelcome schoolyard nickname of vocalist/guitarist Jake Smith. Opening track “Tubba Lard” finds Smith spitting back the insults and body shaming that he endured during his upbringing. This unvarnished truth-telling is central to the album’s commentary on our social hypocrisy and resulting abuse. “Nice Guy” takes aim at rape culture and misogyny in no uncertain terms with lyrics like “They just don’t want to fuck you / No one cares that you’re a nice guy”. “Predator and Prey” lashes at the military industrial complex’s manipulative coercion of people of lower economic means. Anxiety, agnosticism, distrust, and psychedelics are all invoked when questioning society and culture. The themes throughout the album are driven by Smith’s search for deeper meaning in the chaos and uncertainty of the world around him. In their hunt for a more equitable society, Eye Flys are happy to demolish any opposition they encounter.
Written during the summer of 2019, Tub of Lard was composed and recorded around the band’s debut tours with Daughters and Torche. Though Eye Flys members live in different cities, Tub of Lard came together as a more collaborative album than the raw and loose EP. Smith and drummer Patrick Forrest created the framework of each piece while guitarist Spencer Hazard shaped their frayed edges with layers of noise and guitar texture. The gravelly muck-laden basslines by Kevin Bernsten, who recorded the album at his Developing Nations studio in Baltimore, are handily interwoven beneath the pummel of Forrest’s drums creating a controlled sense of total abandon that is dizzying. Smith’s searing bark cuts through it all, powered by the personas of an infuriated sceptic and maniacal punisher. Across Tub of Lard, Eye Flys’ mercilessness is thrilling: direct, hypnotic blunt-force grooves that twist and fray into feedback and oblivion. It is a soul-crushing, head-banging delight.
In just over a year since their initial inception, Eye Flys have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Their debut full-length Tub of Lard is stunningly potent, full of piss and vinegar and scientific in its ability to pulverize everything in its path.