Album Review: Tired Eyes’ ‘In Denial, Force a Smile’

 

Thoroughly dynamic, Tired Eyes’ debut EP ‘In Denial, Force a Smile’ schools unsuspecting listeners on how to boldly weave variety through six memorable tracks. Hailing from Brisbane, the alternative rock band made up of Joey Keating (guitar, vocals), Jesse Kampkes (bass, vocals), Judah Kampkes (keys) and Samuel Peacock (drums) has drawn from hard rock and post-hardcore influences as well as cinematic scoring and pop music to create an ambient and profoundly emotive sound ideal for getting you through that train ride home on a dreary, winters day.  

Opening with the softly undulating and predominantly instrumental song ‘Unforgiveness’, the EP gently nudges you into consciousness before plunging into the overarching theme of denial with the band’s second single ‘Outta Sight’ which features tug-of-war vocals and a glistening guitar solo. Loaded with conviction, lead single ‘A Place, A Space, A Symphony’ cleverly juxtaposes spoken-word verses and mounting frustration with choruses that yearn for an escape from reality.  

Speaking of their lead single vocalist Joey Keating said “This song is very much so the embodiment of the EP. It’s written from the mindset of ‘In Denial, Force a Smile.’ The song was originally written about a relationship that ultimately collapsed because of the denial of crucial issues that were swept under the rug and ignored. Though the facts were hard to ignore and even harder to talk about, love was the perfect denial. The song resolves in the weight of conviction leading to wisdom in action, even though wisdom feels too far gone.” 

Changing course, the hypnotic ‘Tempt Me’ impressively demonstrates a mature, musical restraint more commonly reserved for sophomore records. The track also provides the EP’s most compelling lyric “caught in the discord of disgrace” which acts to seamlessly bridge ‘Tempt Me’ with the ferociously passionate ‘Dissonance’. At the tail end of the album, Tired Eyes deliver a cover of The Cure’s The Love Cats, stylised as ‘LOVECVTS’. Giving the band elbow room for experimentation the cover opens with an excerpt from the 1945 romantic drama A Brief Encounter followed by a groovy bass line and a palpable satirical tone.  

Tired Eyes’ debut EP ‘In Denial, Force a Smile’ is now available for pre-order and will be released on Friday, June 29 on Spotify and Apple Music.  

Words   By Monique La Terra