File Under: Alt, Emo, Pop/Punk
After a day-late start (no wi-fi, followed by file format confusion) I was greeted by Open Your Eyes’ album Truth or Consequence. It became instantly apparent that this band knows how to play together. It took a bit longer to see how this sense of comfort could potentially down the road lead to stagnancy.
Truth or Consequence is well produced and full of grandiose rebel sing-alongs. Open Your Eyes knows how to hit their mark and they do it with remarkable consistency. Vocally (two seconds of screaming on “Stay Alive” aside) they know what inflection to put on their words to provide the best shift in mood. The drums punctuate the themes with precision and the choruses are immediately memorable. It’s catchy and almost every track would fit in well on alt radio stations.
So what do I mean about stagnancy? There are hints here and there of a band on auto-pilot. It never lasts a full song, but on “Poor Jada” for instance, a certain lack of lyrical connectivity stretches across the opening verse. The vocals are in tune, the lyrics are coherent, but ultimately there’s a disconnect leading me to think the band is tired of singing those words. Then the chorus ramps in and everything is back on track. “Sleep It Away” has a few early disconnects itself, but the band hits their marks so well it’s hard to pay it any notice. In fact, it’s still one of my favorite tracks. On “The Cure,” however, the band is on their A-game start-to-finish and there isn’t a misstep to be found.
Truth or Consequence is widely comprised of powerful get-off-your-ass-and-dance (“Stay Alive”) bursts of energy, with a ballad or two (“2019″) thrown in to provide texture, although many of the tracks fall in both categories (“The Cure,” “Sleep It Away“) depending on the verse. The result is a well crafted 40 minutes capable of grabbing my attention and keeping it the whole way through, give or take “Stay Alive,” which carries just a bit too much whine for my personal taste.
Open Your Eyes have proven themselves more than capable of commandinng a performance and writing well composed bouts of angst. The question then becomes: at what point is a song studio-ready without feeling over-rehearsed?
Highlights include: “The Cure,” “Sleep It Away,” and “Walls Talk“
You can find Truth or Consequence on Spotify and YouTube.
Going on a blind date with Truth or Consequence: