The Sleeping Eye (Tee Pee)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Aug. 14, 2009
Iron AgeThe Sleeping Eye (Tee Pee)
Galloping rhythms come naturally to guitar/drummer tandems, and in Iron Age's Wade and Jared Allison that full-on charge redlines The Sleeping Eye. While the former wrote almost all of the music on the local quintet's sophomore release with throaty solvent Jason Tarpey, beatmaster Jared Allison bursts the chute of his brother and Alex Hughes' dual-propeller guitar attack on a mad dash back to punk-metal's early 1980s garage days. Hatched at the Bubble, The Sleeping Eye boils down a base essence of influences as primal as the Sword. The unblinking machinations of opener "Sleeping Eye of the Watcher" are less progressive right angles than thrash's stations of the upside-down cross. The machine-gun clip of guitars and drums fires off "Dispossessed," complete with Iron Maiden break, and "Burden of Empire" continues the ramrod momentum with its twin axe hook, Tarpey's hoarse corrosion mixed just below the jackhammer rhythms of bass (Justin Mason), guitars, and drums. "A Younger Earth" lowers its pulse to metallic blues with psych detailing, but the two-part "Arcana" comes right back firing on all pistons, beginning as a generic gunner before spiraling into descending levels of chugging doom that never quite add up. Closer "The Way Is Narrow" drags its tail until the beast wakes, but like "Arcana," flies in circles. The song's short, atmospheric coda, however, and the album's overall sound design prove provocative sonic embellishments worth exploring in a future Iron Age.