For Sore Eyes is a band from Brescia, Italy, formed in 2006. Since then, they have been perfecting their trade, seen a few line-up changes and apparently writing some damn good songs. Main influences seem to be some of the regular punk bands like Blink 182, Sum 41, Green Day or Alkaline Trio. Yet, at times I'm also reminded of completely different acts, including Maybeshewill or Sleepmakeswaves.
Yeppers, this music is a great blend of punk and slabs post rock and I quite like that. It's dynamic, powerful, melodic and immersive. There are some great harmonies here, often enhanced by keyboards or piano, because why the hell not? Those instruments add a lot of radio-friendliness to the whole. Yet, even more interesting might be the fact that there are some awesome rock songs here, including opener 'Light In The Dark', 'A Better Life' and title track 'Nexus'.
Last Sunday, Wouter and I were talking about punk rock bands and about their inability to write decent ballads. Yes, there are some good ballads by punk bands but admit it, they're quite rare. Now, I have to say that For Sore Eyes managed to throw a very good one on this album. 'Aurora' is an awe-inspiring track, varied, dynamic and pretty damn heavy at times.
But there's even more. On 'Burn (Crashing Down)' I have a slight Iron Maiden feeling. 'A Call Out Of Nowhere' is an interesting space ambient track, even reminding me of Tangerine Dream. Now, that was quite unexpected, no? I'm not sure if that was intended but it certainly shows a highly versatile site of these youngsters. 'Dust' is a mix of punk rock and trip hop, another pretty nice surprise to be honest. Finally, 'Under The Sun' is just plain acoustic rock fun.
By now you should get a decent idea about the versatility of this group of youngsters. On this debut, they play all their trumps and with success too. This is a well-played, well-written and highly varied punk rock album which certainly has the ability to get them on big festival stages around Europe. Expect to see a lot more coming from these Italians in the near future...