Opiate Eyes
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Opiate Eyes

Jacksonville, Florida, United States | SELF

Jacksonville, Florida, United States | SELF
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"New Album - Drew Bond - Looking Forward to You"

I don’t know much about Jacksonville, Florida artist Drew Bond, but I recently stumbled across his first album, Looking Forward To You, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a five-track concept album recorded in a single weekend, with nearly all of the instruments played by Drew Bond himself. What really drew me to this album was Bond’s deep and soothing voice and the unique instrumentation and melodies. Check out the album for free on Bandcamp.

- Radiated Sounds


"Brand New Heavies"

The early Americans traveled a road of
treachery, plague and hardship. And for many,
that was merely the lime-covered plank that
led to the outhouse. It was an age when women
were measured by the strength of their backs,
men judged by the weight of their musketballs
and children praised for their hardiness of
character, robustness of blood and de ness with
a scabbard. One whelp who could honor all
that criteria and still chew the pelt o a bear’s
ass faster than one could sing the opening
salvos of “Granny Shat the Hardtack” was none
other than Jim Bridger. Born in 1804, James
“Jim” Bridger had already survived untamed
wilderness and abandonment by his scurrilous
parents by the time he joined the legendary Gen.
William Ashley’s expedition in his 18th year.
 e quintessential mountain man, Bridger was
a renowned trapper, army o cer, guide and
interpreter. Also an inveterate bullshitter, Bridger
was known to spin yarns about “glass mountains”
and a petri ed forest inhabited by “peetri ed”
birds singing “peetri ed” songs. By the time
he died in 1881, Bridger was among the  rst
European-Americans to see the Great Salt Lake
and was well-regarded for his skills at mediating
relations between native tribes and encroaching
whites. Yet Bridger was a moody sort and while
famed Bridger biographer Grenville Dodge
described him as a “very companionable man …
hospitable and generous,” rogue Bridger scholar
Dagobert Sousé III portrayed the Virginia-bred
journeyman thusly: “When he wasn’t cramming
his half-bred jowls with sweetcakes, eagle eggs
and whiskey, this otherwise staunchly occidental
army o cer was known to fall prey to the fever
dreams induced by the jade curse of the Oriental
and his opium pipe.”
Even more shocking still was Sousé’s
controversial study of Bridger’s selfdocumented
experiments with opiate-soaked
horsemeat, “Into the Jaws of God” (1918). A er
acquiring a copy of this 3,000-page screed,
Folio Weekly was astounded to come across the
following excerpt at the document’s conclusion,
wherein Bridger  nally succumbed to inevitable
narcotic overdose: “Eventually, the dying
septuagenarian had to be restrained, lest he bite
the now-terri ed chaplain a third time. On his
passing, he glared at the  ickering lantern at his
bedside and was heard to croak, ‘ e skinny
angel records the Lord’s  nal thunderclap.’ ”
When originally published, this utterance
seemed like the doped-up gibberish of a mad
man or radio talk show host. Nearly a century
later, it reads as chilling prophecy.
 ey say that serendipity is the lisping,
tag-along sister of fate, for lo and behold,
Folio Weekly has received a “A Skinny Records
Compilation.”  is  ve-song a air is the latest
release from the local indie label helmed by
Tom Essex and Ryan Turk. So in the grand
tradition of both Bridger and his scholar Sousé,
we shall explore the  ndings therein. First up
is the pleasantly bass-heavy swerve of Opiate
Eye’s “Dance 5,” wherein the vocalist sings so
clearly that what was once known as electro
pop shall forever be known as “elocution-pop,”
for not since Dennis DeYoung’s buttery larynx
lubed the lyrics of Styx has a group enunciated
with such precision.  e next track by Besotes,
“Diasporatic  ree,” is an instrumental track that
might bene t from not existing. “Dear Bird,”
by the delectably groovy RICE, is a tasty rocker
seasoned with nice string jabs and a short and
sweet production style. Wild Life Society’s “Evil
Stares” drives a killer, pumping beat and sports
a strained vocal delivery that sounds as if the
lead singer were actually being carried alo by
a mighty bird during production. While WLS’s
latest cut is an e ective tune from these local
faves, it reminds me of a pressing spiritual irony.
While in the actual ’80s, countless musicians
took drugs to escape the music of the day. Yet
judging by today’s sounds, contemporary youth
are seemingly taking drugs to invoke the sound of
the ’80s! You can’t win.  e  nal track on the EP,
“Running with Dark Circles,” is by Opiate Eyes
lead man Drew Bond; it’s a cool, confessional
ditty striking a perverted symmetry between
“Hee Haw” simian Roy Clark and UK psychoballadeer
Roy Harper.
Along with their fellow local yokels at
In ntesmal Records, Skinny Records has been
creating a signature sound in recent years,
delivered by a well-maintained stable of rockers
(including the aforementioned acts) that any
fearless fans of local music would do well to
seek out and explore.  e eternally stoned
ghost of Jim Bridger nods his approval. ?
Dan Brown
dbrown@folioweekly.com - Folio Weekly


"Opiate Eyes – Dance 5"

APRIL 12, 2011
By Jesse Kennedy
I first heard this song live on a packed weekend night at my favorite venue in Jacksonville, Florida, Underbelly. The band was kicking off their tour and that proverbial good energy we all talk about at arena shows was ubiquitous throughout the backyard of a bar.

“Dance 5” is one of those songs that makes you feel like the Greenwood brothers would be proud to hear. Guitarist Roland David’s vocals in the beginning prepare you for the rush of the rest of the song. Never going over the top, it changes tonally when lead-singer Drew Bond fuels the rest of the song’s fire. The last minute of the song is what really makes it worth the listen for me. It doesn’t quit; and live, neither do they.

Best Time and Place to Listen: Friday after work (for those of us with day-jobs) so Friday feels like Saturday.

If This Song Was a Celebrity it Would Be: Colin Greenwood as an Opiate Eyes fan in another life. But then, he wouldn’t be a celebrity. - Synconation


"Music Notes: Another Infintesmal BBQ, the Biggest Crunchay Sunday yet, and more"

Opiate Eyes
The Jacksonville post-punk rock band Opiate Eyes has three songs up for free download at skinnyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dance5. They're worth checking out. And if you like the songs, consider getting the band's debut album, "The Glimmers." It's worth it, too.
heather.lovejoy@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4539


Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/music/2011-04-08/story/music-notes-another-infintesmal-bbq-biggest-crunchay-sunday-yet#ixzz1JWZlbgVC - The Florida Times Union


"Opiate Eyes, 'The Glimmers' (pg. 27 mag, pg. 28 pdf)"

Artist: Opiate Eyes
Album: The Glimmers
Label: Skinny Records
If Opiate Eyes has their way, the doors of the St.
John’s Cathedral will one day become a landmark
for rock and roll historians. Just like the cover of
the Beatles’ Abbey Road is often recreated...picture
men in wedding dresses posing on the steps of the historical Jacksonville church. I
might be accused of exaggerating, until you hear The Glimmers, Opiate Eyes’ debut
album on Skinny Records.
Opiate Eyes deliver a kind of friendly post-punk, possessing a subdued energy
that flirts with dissonance without offending. If a band’s sound was inseparable
from its geography, Opiate Eyes would inhabit whatever lies directly between Athens,
GA and DC. Luckily they hail from Duval County and have pleased its residents
everywhere from Shantytown to the Riverside Arts Market stage. The Glimmers
spans an impressively wide array of dynamics, emotions and styles without being
disjointed. R.E.M. can come to mind, immediately followed by Dismemberment
Plan and Cursive. They are able to wander down technical and at times, slightly
experimental roads without straying from a certain pop-sensibility that allows them
to be widely accepted and appreciated. It’s safe to say that they would be equally
adored by fans of indie, punk and math-rock alike.
It’s not uncommon to see a really talented, newer band such as Opiate Eyes
live and be far more impressed by their show than the CD you take home. The opposite
is equally as likely, but The Glimmers is a faithful representation and Opiate
Eyes is one of the few bands that sounds just as good recorded as they do live. In
fact, the production details on the album more than make up for the lost effect of
experiencing the music in person.
Opiate Eyes will put their music to the ultimate test as they embark on an East
Coast tour this month. As they represent some of the best in local Jacksonville
music, they will no doubt make a lasting impression on the cities that are fortunate
enough to receive them. - BY JACK DIABLO - EU Magazine


"Opiate Eyes bandmate drops dreamy solo EP"

Opiate Eyes bandmate drops dreamy solo EP
14 SEPTEMBER 2010 ASHLEY GANNON
Stemming from four-man band Opiate Eyes, Drew Bond delivers Sept. 25 his first solo album, “Looking Forward to You.”

Bond has been playing in bands since he was 16 years old and became part of Opiate Eyes nearly one year ago. Opiate Eyes is one of six main bands produced under Skinny Records, a recording label owned by Tom Essex, a UNF deaf education senior. He started the label in the beginning of 2008 to produce quality musicians and artists in Jacksonville.

“It’s just exciting being able to record and produce my music and my friend’s music, as well,” Essex said. “That’s what Skinny Records is all about.”

Bond and Essex were able to mesh their musical skills together to pump out the EP in record time, due to their previous friendship and knowledge of each other’s likes and dislikes.

“I loved recording with Tom; he listens,” Bond said. “He knows what I like, and we work really well together.”

A passion for his personal musical works led Bond to branch off from Opiate Eyes to write and produce his solo five-song concept album.

“For me, writing songs is a constant thing. I am always writing and working, whether it’s for Opiate Eyes or for myself,” Bond said. “I love playing with Opiate Eyes, but I wanted to make something that’s completely mine.”

Bond has it all covered, from peppy percussion beats and sweeter-than-honey guitar strums, to dark-but-gentle vocals and fun keyboard blasts.

“It is entirely my own. It’s my brainchild,” Bond said. “We went to the [Skinny Records] studio for one very long weekend and cranked it out. It was a freak-fest for sure.”

Spending two days at Skinny Records, located in Warehouse Studios off Emerson Street, Bond and Essex put in 18 straight hours of recording and bounced ideas back and forth.

“The reason the process went so quickly is because Drew was inspired and determined,” Essex said. “It’s also a lot easier working with just one person, as opposed to an entire band. I can honestly say it’s the best album I’ve produced thus far.”

In contrast to the speedy delivery, this album was not a last minute idea. Bond has had his heart set on creating his own album since he started playing music at age 13.

“There’s a certain creative freedom you can have when you decide you are going to do a record on your own,” Bond said. “I just wanted to try my hand at recording everything, including percussion, bass, guitar and vocals. It’s always been a dream of mine.”

Bond’s EP starts out with “Balcony,” a song about the feeling of a new relationship sprouting. Soft beats and crisp guitar picks lead into slow, deep vocals, creating a hypnotic, dream-like world. It’s beautiful and romantic, as if Bond himself is gazing into your eyes and crooning, “I love you so/ I just don’t know, yet.”

Bond has a deep but sweetly angelic voice that easily connects you to every word he sings.

When the second track, titled “VII Weeks,” chimes in, you begin to see the transition into a concept album. The song describes what the relationship has become, seven weeks in. This clap along, dance-style jingle is the most fun to listen to. At a tight 1:46, upbeat guitar riffs and quirky percussion from tambourine shaking and hand clapping keep the tempo quick for an anthem-like tune. “Do you want me, are you comfortable with this routine?/ There you are and you got me there you are.” The boys that hoot and holler while clapping at the finale assure the song’s feeling of true happiness.

“Ghost I” and “Ghost II,” the third and fourth songs, are where you can really see this musical story unfold. The dream of a new relationship turns from pure joy, to anger, then sadness and finally, hopeful. The mood begins to shift during “Ghost I,” starting off with subtle guitar tunes and chika-chika shakers set the stage for drowsy vocals. “All that she has put you through, if she doesn’t want you, then let me have you/ Take these lies.” One minute into the song, things get darker. Low, echoing keyboard notes combined with alien electronic sounds and repeated lyrical chants create a spooky march. It’s almost as if you can feel the hurt in Bond’s voice.

“Ghost II” continues with Bond’s haunting vocals, hitting high notes with a slightly shaky perfection, creating an ominous feel. His sorrowful lyrical style fits nicely after the lonely and chilling vibe of this fourth tune. “Will I haunt you?/ I doubt it/ I think I’ll be a ghost/ With nowhere to go.” “Ghost II” incorporates relaxed clapping and fun beats but with slow and smooth delivery.

The conclusion to this EP and story is “Bedroom.” The gloom is lifted and hope fills the air from the very start. At 4:35 the track takes a leisurely approach at explaining the beauty in the mundane activities of two people who are in love, and how even though it seems routine, it is how they survive together. “The bedroom is warm/ Turn on the fan/ The door is ajar/ It won’t slow us down/ The shower is on/ Let’s have a talk/ The dinner, the drinks/ The Fourth of July/ I look back in fondness/ I look forward to you.” Bond cries out into the distance half-way through the song, and as the beat rises and falls, you feel the ending coming but wish it wouldn’t.

Let the clock keep running, and you’ll be treated to a personal message from Bond himself.

DigDog and Chris Estes will join Bond Sept. 25 at his EP release party at The Sinclair on 521 W. Forsyth St. To stream the album online, visit drewbond.bandcamp.com. - Spinnaker


"Opiate Eyes is a Jacksonville band to watch"

Opiate Eyes is a Jacksonville band to watch
In less than a year, the indie-rock group has released an album, built a solid fan base

Posted: September 10, 2010 - 12:04am


By Heather Lovejoy

The Jacksonville-based indie-rock band Opiate Eyes is less than a year old but has already released a concept album and attracted fans who know the songs well enough to sing along at shows. For some bands, that takes a decade, yet frontman Drew Bond says more music is coming soon.

They plan to tour this winter and hope to finish a second full-length album beforehand. Music videos are also in the plans.

At lunch a few weeks ago, Bond laughed and admitted it sounds rather ambitious. "We get big and crazy ideas," he said.

So far, that approach has worked for them. Their first album, "The Glimmers," was born from one of those "crazy" ideas.

The four band members thought it would be funny to have a photo of themselves dressed as if they were in a wedding, with a bride, matron of honor, groom and best man. Sounds pretty ordinary, except Opiate Eyes is four guys - Bond, bassist Tom Essex, guitarist Roland David and drummer Caleb Mahoney.

Bond said they were amused by the irony, considering they grew up in broken and less-than-ideal home situations. The "wedding" photo graces the album cover, and another used in the CD packaging features the band in a farcical dinner setting.

The photo idea spurred the creation of a concept album questioning social injustice and institutions, including marriage.

"It's part social commentary, part an attempt at catharsis," Bond said.

Opiate Eyes' progressive sound complements those heavy topics by challenging conventional rhythm, time signatures, melodies and song structure. There's nothing wrong with traditional songwriting methods, Bond said, but he wants to be a part of what's happening around him now.

"Things are constantly shifting," Bond said. "What I ask myself is 'How can I contribute to this dialogue? ... Can I produce something relevant?'..."

Just skim over the lyrics on "The Glimmers," and it's no surprise Bond was a literature major in college.

The album winds through the lives of "Dustin" and "Wendy," implying that people might benefit from stepping back and re-examining their lives.

The characters' stories of regret and emptiness aren't told in a cut-and-dry manner, though. That's not Opiate Eyes' style.

Instead, they want listeners to think - and, of course, crank the music up loud.

As part of a release party for Drew Bond's solo EP, Opiate Eyes will play on Saturday, Sept. 25, at The Sinclair, 521 W. Forsyth St. in downtown Jacksonville.

For more on Opiate Eyes, go to Skinny Records' Facebook page or myspace.com/skinnyrecordings. - The Florida Times Union


"Drugstore Cowboys: Opiate Eyes' debut album deals in primo neo-prog rock"

Drugstore Cowboys Opiate Eyes’ debut album deals in primo neo-prog rock


OPIATE EYES with KATIE GRACE HELOW and ROBIN RÜTENBERG Saturday, Aug. 28 at 9 p.m. The Sinclair, 521 W. Forsyth St., Jacksonville Admission is $5; 358-0005


One benefit of growing older (besides the obvious perk of not yet dying) is that you get to relive your youth through the next generation. It is a delicate appreciation, based partially on nostalgia, and driven as much by a sense of selfless encouragement as the dismissive scowl of a threatened ego. Rock music has always spun on an axis of vanity; just check out the utter non-humility of most surviving founders of the scene, like Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis. If Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray was listening to anything while admiring his mirrored image into an eternal grave, it was Hendrix, not Handel.
So it can be a bittersweet moment to hear the musical equivalent of once-radical four- letter words reduced to hawking cruise ships, football or salsa. And let’s be blunt — if my Generation X had a spokesperson, he wasn’t tragically murdered by a madman’s bullet but rather turned the gun on himself: the ultimate hostile act of self-centeredness. It can make one want to turn a deaf ear to music altogether, or at least buy a thicker pair of earplugs.
But there’s always hope (optimism being another weird, unexpected boon of maturity) and my current fountain of youth springs from local rockers Opiate Eyes. At first glance, I was nonplussed by yet another eye-focused band (see “The Eyes,” “8 Eyed Spy,” “Bright Eyes,” “Wolf Eyes,” “Random Eyes,” ad nauseum), but hearing their debut album, “The Glimmers” (skinnyrecords.com), helped soften my harsh perspective. The lineup of Drew Bond and Roland David on guitars and vocals, guest vocalist Daisy Miller and the rhythm section of bassist-vocalist Tom Essex and drummer Caleb Mahoney, is an estimable presence in this next wave of area rock. Opiate Eyes is the new breed of rocker — its members are too young to suffer from ironic posturing or self- referencing “statements” that helped cripple the alternative rock scene. The band is part of a generation that’s a mouse-click away from hearing the complete history of music and as such can be applauded for its subtlety. The guitars naturally clang and shimmer in ways that are as much ’60s Roy Wood and The Move as they are ’80s Sonic Youth-damaged. The first track, the careening rocker “Dustin Graves,” begins with a crackling audio montage, of guitar hum and voices, that was a standard smirking intro for much ’90s indie rock, à la Pavement’s “Silent Kid.” But Opiate Eyes really sets the tone and dims the lights with the second track, “House Full of Sighs,” as echoing guitars and languid vocals evoke a world of black lightbulbs that wouldn’t be out of place in Ween’s more adult jams. “Melted” bounces out a weird, angular funk on dripping chords with an effective Neil Young-style “one- note” guitar solo in the fadeout. The
atmospheric “Shot” is carried by Miller’s haunting sea-sirenesque delivery and lulling, shimmering soft-focus of guitars. It’s a standout track that would fit nicely on Pink Floyd’s 1971 classic ”Meddle”; droner-rock hypnotism channeled from a UK castle-and-countryside realm. “Wendy” is a codependent’s shuffle, a final plea as the title character’s out the door, guitars and bass stabbing at the beat in manic syncopation. “January” has the band locked in the pharmacy cabinet again, with fuzzy lyrics (“Calalini ... 24 hours ... Folks and Animals ... ”) sung deadpan over plucked acoustic guitar and clattering percussion as the bass walks the tune to detox. The title track, “The Glimmers,” is followed by “The Glimmers II,” veering dangerously close to the pretentious bloat that led to punk rock’s justifiable slaughter of the original wave of prog rockers (hear Yes’ torrid 1973 “Tales from Topographic Oceans”) but it’s a minor flub on a mostly flawless record. The closing track, “Godspeed You Home,” fades to a nice cryptic-flamenco riff the late Arthur Lee would’ve loved.
Opiate Eyes benefits by its restraint in this high weirdness; I kept waiting for the band to really “stretch out” and was actually pleased when they chose to keep it all under the four- minute mark, a fast-acting narcotic in a current music scene strung out on extended-released jam band hack-meisters. Sometimes a 10- minute guitar solo is too loud and too long.
If Opiate Eyes is indicative of the newest wave of local music, I’ll find solace admitting I’m one bass solo away from turning 40. I refuse to surrender my Pussy Galore bootlegs, yet still make a welcoming bow to the rising wave of skilled, musical youth.
Along with recent releases like Kevin Lee Newberry’s “The Dark Presser” and Rickolus’ “Youngster,” Opiate Eyes’ “The Glimmers” shows local bands don’t need to up the dose when the side affects are already this pleasant.
Brides of Prog: Local rockers Opiate Eyes.
Dan Brown dbrown@folioweekly.com
26 | FOLIO WEEKLY | AUGUST 24-30, 2010 - Folio Weekly


Discography

"Dust and Buried Bones: A Western Fantasy" - 2011
1. Rattlesnake in the Brush
2. Dust and Buried Bones
3. Smilin' Crooked with a Teary Eye
4. The Painted Desert
5. By the Fire

"Opiate Eyes" - 2011
1. Remember the Living
2. Are You Always Close?
3. Nightmares, Nightmares
4. Silence Is
5. Go Ahead and Get Gone
6. Sounds into Eternity
7. Thinkers v. Doers

"The Summer" - 2011
1. On the Road
2. Seven Weeks
3. The Summer

"Dance 5" - 2011
1. Dance 5
2. Cavity
3. You Are Something

"The Glimmers" - 2010
1. Dustin Graves
2. House Full of Sighs
3. Melted
4. Shot
5. Wendy
6. When You Know
7. Blockheaded
8. January
9. The Glimmers
10. The Glimmers II
11. Godspeed You Home

"Holiday Maladies" - 2009
1. Silent Night

Photos

Bio

Opiate Eyes began in 2009 in Jacksonville Beach, FL. They are an independent, DIY 4 piece, inspired by the likes of MGMT, Radiohead, Vampire Weekend, Neil Young, Kings of Leon, Dirty Projectors, Beatles, Pixies, Pink Floyd, etc.
They have toured several times and released several self made records. They have earned a loyal following in their home town and a name in the local press. They have played with the likes of Foxy Shazam and a host of Jacksonville bands.
Opiate Eyes is passionate and serious about good music.