We’ve heard great things regarding a raucous live show, so we jumped with fervent glee when this debut from Leeds based trio, Quack Quack fell through the door.
Often, omitting a winey fop-headed front man can be a massive boon. Rather than layering your sonic masterpieces with wretched mewling, the real musician is free to survey realms of aural perfection, unhindered by emotional anchorage and blessed with the opportunity to explore the expansive plains of musical wonder. Sorry. How annoying it is then, when Quack Quack fail to embrace this possibility.
‘Perpetual Spinach’ creates a jejune, plodding and jovial opening, but it quickly becomes incidental. It pains me to say that so much of Slow As An Eyeball rests upon a crux of sluggishly dispensable nothingness. Due in part to slipshod organ lines that cut through a majority of tracks where drum and bass are criminally secondary, despite them adding bursts of excitement to otherwise tedious offerings.
I’m reluctant to say Slow As An Eyeball is bad. It’s not, and while many tracks encompass a searching and expansive linear reach, it’s frequently frustrating and two-dimensional. ‘Big Sounds’ is excellent. A rolling drum beat ala Can, it has an engaging grasp, sharp abrasive attack and changes that throw the track all over the shop. Likewise ‘Slow As An Eyeball’ is brilliant. Unpolished brass gives it an early Mr. Bungle Disco Volante jazz feel. Unhinged, meandering with subtle hints of scuff and darkness where chirp has been the order of the day. You’re left thinking that tracks like these are where this album should be heading.
Elsewhere, Slow As An Eyeball just doesn’t grip. ‘Toc H’ becomes infuriatingly repetitive, and features a collection of cheap and simplistic organ lines that often repeat ad nauseam. It progresses slowly, and many of the tracks border on claustrophobic given their staid, albeit fun nature. ‘Cakes Are Easy’ shows promise, but soon slips into the realm of tiresome. ‘Bird Parliament’ has a moribund feel to it, occasionally breaking off into intermissions of what can only be described as 70s news music.
Imagine our disappointment when we were left feeling a little nonplussed when their apparent boisterousness failed to surface on CD. Slow As An Eyeball is an enjoyable, if somewhat narrow first offering that fails to reach its full potential.