FROM times of privation, creativity may arise as a channelling of the anxieties, the energies, of the moments of crisis, Such is the pandemic beginnings of the baggy-psych voyage of upcoming Brit trio Solar Eyes, whose debut offering, “Acid Test”, is with us right here, right now.
Solar Eyes is the psychedelic venture of Glenn Smyth, on which mission he’s joined by the like-minded Seb Maynard Francis and Tom Ford. The trio first got together last last April as an outlet from the ‘rona anxieties; Glenn’s an NHS worker, Tom is a paramedic’s husband and Seb has been shielding throughout.
They love the psych in all its incarnations, both sonically and visually; careful with those optic nerves when you drop through the looking glass into the video for “Acid Test”, below – I mean, the title should be a guide, shouldn’t it? There’s moments of pure Bridget Riley in there.
Recorded mostly in Glenn’s loft during the heat of last summer, the three drew on the whole rich vein of psych, running from the late-Sixties explosion through to the Nineties, taking in side influences such as the Chemical Brothers and Death in Vegas to realise a sound that has a really baggy psych reel and strut.
They used anything they could get their hands on from Moogs to mellotrons, VHS simulators, Japanese electric guitars, and old 12-strings picked up at car boot sales. All was fish to their trippy nets. You can, I think, hear the West Coast colliding with some of that wired, warped guitar of Flowered Up or the Mondays circa “Hallelujah”.
It’s a double-drop situation, too, as they’ve also released the more shoegazey bliss of “Nothing’s For Free” as well; take a tour through them both, why not?