Tabs Out | Eyerolls – Eye in Hell

Eyerolls – Eye in Hell
11.5.18 by Ryan Masteller

Eyerolls is how my mom looks at me. Eyerolls is how my wife looks at me. Eyerolls is how my kid looks at me. What did I do to deserve this? Am I some kind schmuck who somehow doesn’t get it? Like, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing and everyone’s writing me off? I’m stuck here in the middle of all these eyerolls. I can’t escape.

Eyerolls is fucking eyerolling me too! Pummeling me with scornful sonics as I just sit here, on the couch, doing nothing to nobody. Z. Salwen’s doing it, and “Eye in Hell” may as well be “I in Hell,” for all the good it’s doing. Salwen’s got my number.

But hey, maybe this isn’t so bad after all – in fact, what I can do is strap on a pair of aviator headphones and forget all about the haters with “Eye in Hell,” blocking out the negativity and sinking ever deeper into my own crapulent self-indulgence. I mean, hell doesn’t necessarily HAVE to be bad, am I right? We can navigate this treacherous territory with a modicum of mental competence when it comes down to it.

Z. Salwen takes the long-running Eyerolls brand to the next level here. Ramming strangely tolerable noise into proto-synthwave IDM warble, Salwen weaponizes gooney melodies until they’re warped shards of sandblasted and dangerously serrated electronics – too dangerous for the average listener to handle. They giggle and tease before they sock you in the mouth, dancing just outside the range of predictability. Actually, pretty far outside of that range, if we’re being honest.

“Eye in Hell” isn’t as malevolent as it wants to be, yet it’s far less conventional than some “electronic tape release,” the staid kind without any adventurous spirit. Eyerolls is super adventurous – you just may end up down some paths that aren’t quite as comfortable as you’d hope. Plus, all the time with those looks; I mean, my god.

“Eye in Hell” comes on a ninety-minute cassette with the album on both sides. It’s packaged all nice and stuff “in a plastic clam shell case with custom-printed card sleeve and obi strip. Buyer gets choice of cassette stock: Maxell UR or XLII.” I got UR, but I wanted XLII. ☹

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