Eyes Adrift

'ACL' sides

Phases and Stages

Eyes Adrift

(SpinArt) Here's a supergroup for ya: Curt Kirkwood, Krist Novoselic, and Bud Gaugh, of the Meat Puppets, Nirvana, and Sublime, respectively. Call 'em the tragedy all-stars, what with the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Sublime's Brad Nowell, and Cris Kirkwood's well-publicized drug problems. Tragedy continues here, unfortunately, as Eyes Adrift doesn't add up to the sum of its parts. There's been complaints about the Meat Puppets' mark two lineup lacking some of the backwoods twang the group was previously known for, and Eyes Adrift remedies that, focusing on Kirkwood's pastoral songcraft and outdoorsman abstraction. Novoselic steps up to the mic for three numbers, including the barnburning "Dottie Dawn & Julie Jewel," dance-hall rockabilly on Rohypnol. This despite the fact that the man can't sing (see "Inquiring Minds"). Sadly, despite compelling moments here and there, most of the songs on Eyes Adrift don't stand out, and with the Meat Puppets' psychedelia toned down quite a bit, there's just not a lot of interesting things going on. Kirkwood hits on some satisfying grooves, yet generally, his droll choruses drift into snoozeland. Needed here are more frizzle-fried freakout jams like "Pasted," the 15-minute closer that dazzles at times, though it's definitely overlong. In fact, the only time Eyes Adrift really puts it all together is on "Alaska," which features a memorable bassline bridge, lots of energy, and some intense Kirkwood shredding, all clocking in at under three minutes. Too bad it's the exception and not the rule. (Saturday, Sept. 28, 2-3pm, Heritage stage.)


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