Montreal band Devil Eyes unleashes raw garage rock on visceral full-length debut

It took just 5 seconds for Listen, Dammit, to fall in love with “Rip My Heart Out,” the approved-for-posting mp3 by Montreal band Devil Eyes.

That first guitar chord just kind of hangs there for a beat or two, as if the song is taking a deep breath for the full-on charge that follows. It’s terse, tight, groovy rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s just the opening salvo on the band’s self-titled full-length album. “Devil Eyes” the record is a scabrous mix of overdriven guitars and unhinged vocals on songs straight out of whatever primeval swamp first unleashed garage rock.

It’s noisy, snotty and abrasive, all of which are compliments. Overheated bass barrels after lean, scraping guitar on “Freak Pocket,” guitarist Matt Lee wigs out all over the end of “Hung” and a braying clarinet solo takes “Noctilucent Ghost” to an even crazier place.

The truly weird stuff comes on “Spookfish,” an art-rock cacophony of chanted vocals and bleating instruments, and on the desert-dry acoustic guitar and chaotic vocal line of the Western blues-noir tune “Motorsnake.”

With a running time of less than half an hour, these nine songs do their jobs with quick and dirty efficiency, and really, how much more do you need? It’s an assured debut from a band with tons of raw potential. Emphasis on raw.

Rip My Heart Out mp3

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