The Eyebrows arrive on the scene with – Volume, a ten track LP by the Charlotte, NC natives, formed by of Poprocket and Temperance League members Jay Carrigan and Shawn Lynch, adding Darrin Gray to round out the line-up on this release. Much of the story also comes after Jay Carrigan went through an adjustment period from his botched Lasik surgery, but it’s now under control and this album comes as a result of a lot to sing about. The amount of variety and musical ideas within the power pop genre come together like a bucket list of sounds to keep around for years to come.
The tracks all mix together like an amalgam of master cuts with a flawless production by Mitch Easter, with the mastering skills of Greg Calbi to not only get a sound all their own, but with a universal appeal that only the two can help with in creating a familiar but cutting-edge sound that slices through today like a laser beam. This isn’t something you just dream up, it takes such veterans to even try to accomplish such a feat. “Red Dress” begins the set with a song that goes everywhere from the Beatles to Tom Petty for starters. It’s a great choice to establish the album’s overall groove with some great backing vocals.
The keyboard playing and the vocals are what stand out the most on this album, and both are handled by Jay Carrigan to his credit, but the songwriting is a joint effort by The Eyebrows. The lead vocals sound like a few bands of the past including REM, The Pixies and Talking Heads, as well as easier to spot influences. These are welcome attributes to the band and album, as they do not copy anyone, but they keep their influences felt across the ten tracks. “Not The Same” is one of the featured songs with such great keyboard work it takes a few outing’s just to appreciate as it creeps up on you and eventually wins you over.
If you’ve never heard Carrigan before, it’s worth playing over and over until he makes his impression on you, which he eventually will if he doesn’t from the get-go. “It Comes Down Hard” is where it starts to get awesome and doesn’t stop. This track is so good it will remind you of everyone from Talking Heads to PM Dawn.
The Eyebrows Take You On A Wild Ride
“I Feel Unloved” is one of the ballads and it’s a great change of pace before a track called “Avocado” takes over and you almost experience an entire album. In fact, it’s the only track that stands out over and above the rest which play more like one song together because they’re all so very well suited. This is by far the biggest track that way and brings the house all the way down in the process, making the album worth its weight in gold. Either that, or it might have the opposite effect depending on your mood. One thing’s for sure, the consensus is that it’s a fabulous track, warts and all.
Standing out the most after that are “Suicide Love” and “The Sun” which speak volumes on their own vitality on this ridiculously contagious album. Pump up the proverbial Volume.
-review by Jodi Marxbury