For the past twenty years or so, I’ve believed I was dying. I’ve always felt that some rare bacteria or gene is just waiting for the go ahead from some god-like figure to round up its homeboys and proceed to reenact the Los Angeles riots on my internal organs. Some call me a hypochondriac, others say I’m paranoid. But I thinks it’s neurosis.
I used to love Neurosis, the Oakland, California-based band. They sounded like a wrecking ball going buck-wild in an abandoned car lot. Speed and intensity made Neurosis the last band you’d want to get a beating too, and the band you’d most want to dish a beating out to. God, they were good.
But The Eye of Every Storm, the eleventh release from the six-piece (including Pete Inc. on “visuals”) is nothing like the Neurosis we all know and love. But it’s not bad. The band has taken a more melodic approach to crafting songs that is mellow (seriously) but still dark. It’s probably what Pink Floyd would have sounded like if they were into death and chicks with shitty tattoos. Or if Jeremy Enigk had a cock ring and a hankering for candlelit, baby-hamster sacrificial rituals. You get the picture.
Every song seems tuned to some kind of internal pace, like that of a steady beating heart; The Eye of Every Storm is as soothing to take in as an old Dead Can Dance track. Organ melodies and steady, hypnotic drum solos are intensified by studio effects and deep voiced harmonies. This album, like some of the band’s previous releases, including 1999’s Times of Grace and 2001’s A Sun that Never Sets, is produced by the godlike Steve Albini.
And despite the band’s abrupt change in sound, The Eye of Every Storm still works. It’s as perfect to eat spaghetti to as it is to bang a handful of Goth chicks to. I plan on eating spaghetti to this album, and if I don’t die any time soon, I’ll try to persuade my girlfriend to wear all black and read me shitty angst-ridden poetry moments before I pound her ass like a meat tenderizer. I love you sweetheart.