The Flying Eyes was a heavy psychedelic rock band that was formed in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2007, and split apart in 2018 after completing a tour. Their band name is from a 1962 science fiction novel about “giant, disembodied eyes that descend from outer space to control humanity”, according to a blurb about the band on HeavyPsychSounds.com. I didn’t know that the band was associated with the Heavy Psych Sounds label until moments ago, and I tend to really dig bands on that particular label so I’m excited to give the group a listen. This album, Bad Blood & Winter (2009), appears to be the group’s debut album, and also appears to be a self-titled album on the The Flying Eyes’ Bandcamp page. Multiple people have commented on the album’s Bandcamp listing and compared the singer to Jim Morrison, so I’m pretty stoked to listen to this album. I can’t find too much more about the band online, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
Oh wow, “Lay With Me” gets started with some really sweet bluesy acoustic guitar and a beat that makes that makes the soundscape sound like some delta blues track being played along the Mississippi. Holy smokes, some electric guitar and bass come in and really get the tune grooving along. Holy smokes, the singer really does sound uncannily similar to Jim Morrison at times. Oh wow, the track switches up to some sort of dark, heavier psychedelic blues as the deep electric guitar seems to take the lead for a moment. Oh wow, the track changes up again to something more mellow with some sort of tremolo guitar somewhat reminiscent of Robby Krieger, which is soon joined by some really interesting violins/orchestral strings. More layers seem to be continually added as the soundscape becomes a miniature harmonic psychedelic rock symphony for a moment. Holy smokes, the vocals come back in and the track seems to segue back into the beginning delta bluesish sound. Holy smokes, the darker, heavy psychedelic blues movement is back. Oh wow, a guitar comes in that absolutely drips groovy, heavy psychedelic flavor. Wow, great tune, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Better Things” begins with some mellow sort of high, droning tones from keyboards or synths. The crash of some drums cues some mellow psychedelic guitar to come in that almost reminds me of My Morning Jacket a bit. I really dig the sort of contrasting timbres in the vocal harmonization during the chorus, as the Morrison-esque singer gets a bit guttural, another vocalist comes in with a really clean, smooth vocal line. Oh wow, I really dig the way the jam ramps up at the end of the track. Great tune.
Oh wow, “Bad Blood” starts out with a really sweet, somewhat tremolo’d electric guitar intro that feels like “Angie” by The Rolling Stones meets The Doors. Holy smokes, the track drops into a heavy psychedelic groove with some bass-heavy, crunchy electric guitar, swirling organs in the background, and a really dynamic rhythm section between the drums and bass. The track then moves into a bit of a lighter movement with less drums and bass. Oh wow, the band moves into another movement that feels like some blues-laced version of songs from either of the first two albums from The Doors. The guitar seems to have a bit of raga-sound during this part, and I really dig the way the drums and bass have a bit of a lighter feel and keep the track grooving along. Oh wow, the track jumps into a final heavy psych lick for the last measure of the song. Great tune.
“Don’t Point Your God At Me” starts out with a flowing sort of beat reminiscent of The Black Angels, and soon some heavy psych blues guitar comes in that reminds me a lot of Tony McPhee and The Groundhogs. I really dig the way the bass and the guitar seem to work in tandem. The vocals really do remind me a lot of Jim Morrison. Oh wow, the track seems to launch into a spacey territory before the song launches into a heavy psychedelic blues rock movement. After the heavy psychedelic blues rock movement, the track seems to momentarily move into raga rock territory before the track gets into the building psychedelic blues movement again. I really dig the swirling organs in the background of this track during the chorus. Oh wow, the band really nicely combines a lot of flavors from the different movements throughout the track into an outro. Super sweet track.
Oh wow, “She Comes To Me” starts out with some lone, sweet, somewhat melancholic electric guitar that almost sings a ballad with the notes being played. Oh wow, the rest of the band comes in and provides a really groovy platform for the electric guitar to sound even sweeter and harmonious. Oh wow, the soundscape mellows out to some delicate guitar and some big church organs, and soon the vocals come in as some guiding light to direct the soundscape along. The track gets into the sweet intro movement from the whole band again, and then resolves back to the mellower section, except this time with some orchestral strings that add in a somewhat baroque element to the mixture. Oh wow, the song moves again to that sweet intro movement again, except the drums seem to be continually building momentum. Holy smokes, the soundscape is only some reversed organs that I’m really digging for the final movement of the tune. Great tune.
“We Are Not Alive” starts out with some far out sound effects, which are shortly followed by some really groovy psychedelic blues rock riffing from one of the guitars. I really dig the way the bass keeps grooving along, providing some really sweet low end to the soundscape that complements the dynamic feel of the drums nicely. Oh wow, the track launches into a really spacey, far out movement with spacey effects, reversed guitar sounds, and a somewhat looser feel in the beat that seems to get increasingly tight and more spacey as the song comes to a close. Super sweet track.
“Red Sheets” gets started with what sounds like hard blues rock outfits such as The Groundhogs mixed with some of the dark, strange psychedelic nature of the first couple of albums by The Doors. Oh wow, the track enters a really loose, somewhat exploratory movement that seems to be led by the massive bass guitar alongside a somewhat distant, fuzzed-out electric guitar. Super sweet tune.
“Around The Bend” gets into a really interesting psychedelic movement that almost feels like some sort of shamanic cowboy crossing the Mojave desert riding towards California under moonlight; the movement has some really interesting, distorted tremolo’d guitar, some sitar-esque droning tones that seem to gradually move through the soundscape, some jangling acoustic guitar and a tambourine, and a generally spacious feel in the beat. The track evolves into a really groovy psychedelic rock jam with flavors that harken back to the late 1960s. Oh wow, the track enters that sort of shamanic cowboy movement again, except this time with more spacey flavors and a drippingly psychedelic lead guitar line as the song comes to a close. Great track.
“Winter” starts out with some distant, distorted psychedelic guitar work that makes it sound like the song is about to launch into a super groovy jam. Oh wow, the rest of the instrumentation seems to take form and the guitar seems to change into one more in focus as the band gets grooving into a psychedelic rock jam movement that I’m really digging. There are still a lot of the sort of cowboy-esque flavors from the previous track that I’m really digging, such as the tambourine and backbeat creating a jangling sort of sound that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the track has entered another movement that almost feels like the Resident Evil theme music meets a sort of psychedelic cowboy sound. Oh wow, the track continues building on itself as the drums and guitar seem to speed up a ton and come to a crescendo of sorts before mellowing back out for the final measures of the song. Great tune.
“Kind Of Nowhere” starts out with a really interesting mixture of tremolo’d and distorted guitar and a somewhat jangly rhythm that again evokes a sort of psychedelic cowboy sound. I’ve heard a lot of desert rock on the internet, but I don’t think I’ve listened to something that overtly made me think of it as much as this album (particularly the last few tracks), since learning about the genre. The soundscape feels like cowboys meets The Doors. Oh wow, there’s a really dream-inducing outro in the keyboards to this mellow track. Great tune, and a great way to finish the album.
Holy smokes, this album was a super interesting listening experience, and I’m already looking forward to checking out more of The Flying Eyes’ discography. The music evolved a ton throughout, with some songs containing many movements that seemed to each stretch the soundscape a number of ways to take the music further into psychedelic territory. The listening experience was sort of like The Doors meets a heavy psychedelic blues rock band such as The Groundhogs for primarily the first part of the album, and then the music gradually evolved to be something along the lines of The Doors meets a sort of psychedelic cowboy style that sounded to me what I imagine desert rock to sound like. If you’re enjoy psychedelic rock groups such as The Doors and are interested in a dynamic psychedelic rock listening experience that evolves throughout the album, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.