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EYELIDS Or gets 8/10

Eyelids
Or
Jealous Butcher Records

8/10

Chris Slusarenko (Guided By Voices) and John Moen (The Decemberists/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks) have been friends for over two decades, but after the demise of Boston Spaceships – the power trio they had formed with Robert Pollard – the two decided to pool their talents and form Eyelids. Or is the second album by the Portland luminaries, and is a sizeable step forward in their pursuit of the perfect guitar pop song.

Eyelids’ desire to bring sweet melodies and bummer vibes together jumps out of the blocks with the biting riff of Slow It Goes working around the deeply melodic voice of Slusarenko. Tell Me You Know is a slower burn with meandering guitar lines that place it close to dream pop territory without making it any less gripping, while My Caved-In Mind adds some swelling harmonies to the chiming guitars.

When a band aims to draw out the melody of XTC whilst using the jangle of Big Star, there is no better man to have at the helm than REM’s Peter Buck. The man who sleeps with his Rickenbacker in hand offers crispness to the production of Or as well as throwing down a few scrupulously placed guitar tracks of his own. Eyelids have a knack for clever wordplay but it is their ability to have more hooks that a shower curtain that truly sets them apart.

Eyelids debut saw them being dubbed Portand’s best kept secret, but with Or, the cat should well and truly be out of the bag. Indie pop as hypnotising as this doesn’t come along every day.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT