Asio’s Eyes- Inside the Blue
York psyche outfit Asio’s Eyes return with a third EP showing off the expansion of their trippy, jazzy sound. With a more electric, effects-driven atmosphere than the previous two EPS (2012’s Only a Colour and 2013’s Once a Dream Did Weave a Shade), it feels like a further nod towards the likes of Radiohead’s In Rainbows and the swirling lull of seminal shoegaze band Ride, and it’s perhaps the band’s most confident release so far.
The EP’s self-titled opening track begins things with a tricky, funky guitar riff carried by solidly-produced drums and a compellingly wandering bassline. The chorus slows things down to a shimmer, Sam Howarth’s vocals cutting through ethereal, reverb-laden guitar, and the whole thing is an arresting opening, showing off some subtle complexities in both the musicianship and the recording (the EP was recorded by Isaac McInnes and mastered by Harry Jones, and they’ve both done a great job in making each instrument sound full, warm and balanced).
The second track, ‘Flood’, nicely builds delayed guitar feedback (and what could be a bit of subtle drum machine programming) towards a solid, danceable groove founded on a determinedly straightforward, head-bobbing bassline. The chorus refrain of “don’t let her flood your heart” makes explicit the apparent aquatic theme running throughout the EP, but the instrumentation itself – mainly Joel Whitaker’s glittering, reverb and delay-drenched guitar – really paints that kind of picture anyway. Final track, ‘Mind’s a Mirror’, starts out as sullen and ethereal before going out on a splash of whirling, emotively-delivered krautrock psychedelia.
All in all, Inside the Blue is mellow, groovy, satisfying evidence of a band whose sound is progressing in a way that feels natural and organic, and rather exciting. Fans of smart, psychedelic indie-rock can’t go wrong here.