Sound — 9
For a debut CD, Inward Eye don't fail to impress, delivering a seemingly perfect balance of mainstream appeal and recognizable talent; a hard to find combination in modern punk music. At first listen, it is easy to tell that the band was influenced by early punk music such as the Ramones or the Sex Pistols. Yet at the same time, their sound remains fresh and unique to themselves. Inward Eye is a band that apparently knows what they want to do with their music: play it for people. Its rare I feel such a strong urge to see a new band perform live with near certainty I would be blown away. Songs such as "Shame" and "Day After Day" have a crowd pumping feel that is very nicely represented on a recording. However, the CD includes a healthy mix of energetic songs and slower, more approachable rock songs. "Don't Paint it Blue", probably one of the best songs on the album delivers the emotion of a slow song while keeping it interesting and staying true to punk roots. One negative impression left upon me, however, was that of the similarity among the songs. Though not as easily defined as many mainstream rock bands, such as another Canadian band I will leave unnamed, most songs were all delivered with a similar approach, structure, and lyrics. If not for the catchy hooks, it could prove difficult to distinguish between. And though full instrumental songs have worked for many bands in the past, "Never Mind the Hipsters", the only song without vocals on the CD, proves to be very uninteresting and not a song one feels the need to turn back to.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrically, I find Inward Eye to be relatively impressive compared to most punk writers. Songs such as "Shame", "Liar", or "Wasteland" all deliver strong messages with memorable ideas in them. A few standout lines include: "Hey, it's a wasteland, baby. I kept the things a shade of grey. Yeah, it's a wasteland, baby. It breaks you if you don't get away" (Wasteland), "The leaders are cheaters, don't care if we die. Elected officials are telling us lies. The preachers, the teachers, the sick pedophiles, You think that you're free, but you're drunk on your own denial" (Shame). Dave Erickson proves a talented vocalist as well. Though the style may not be appreciated by all, he sings in a way that keeps the listener interested and impressed at the same time. The very first time I heard the single, Shame, my impression was that David Usher (Moist) was on crack singing punk music. As previously stated however, after the whole CD is listened to, many songs seem similar in structure particularly in the bridges/pre-choruses. Looking at each song individually however, they still manage to impress.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I was thoroughly pleased. When buying the CD, I had only heard one song by the artist so took quite a chance. Almost immediately when listening, however, by the fourth or fifth song, I had decided I was glad I gave it a try. Very few bands standout in quite the way that Inward Eye does. I recommend this album to anyone who was ever a fan of The Sex Pistols, older Greenday, Against Me!, or any act similar. Tracks I highly recommend when considering the album are "Day After Day", "Don't Paint it Blue", "Shame", and "Heroin Heart". If the album was lost or stolen, I would find a way to get the tracks back ASAP. Probably not buy it again but at the least, download them back.