From the opening sounds of Big Eyes‘ debut 7-inch, you know they grew up on classic rock. The band’s very name hearkens back to one of Cheap Trick’s best songs, and the record has that warm, big sound associated with great ’70s rock albums. The opening track, “Prefer to Be Left Alone” does the seemingly impossible task of reconciling arena rock with classic punk. Really: the short, choppy chords meld wonderfully with epic riffs to give Big Eye an aesthetic that could easily fit in a basement show, or blasting into an arena.
The high points in these four songs are big guitars, accompanied by a crisp and clear voice from lead singer Kate Eldridge (formerly of Cheeky). The low point? I wish the drums weren’t hidden so much on this record – I get the feeling that C.J. Frederick’s work on the skins is heavy enough to reach the cheap seats, but the recording’s a little too poorly mixed to tell (granted, it does sound pretty fantastic for a demo). We’ll know soon enough, as the band has a single due out from Don Giovanni later this month, with a full-length coming in February.