Black Eyes, the influential experimental/art punk/post punk band, had a blink and you miss it career—only existing from 2001-2004—and thus are the kind of band many of us discovered posthumously, myself included. Having found them in the nascent ether of mp3 blogs not long after their breakup, I’ve been listening to them for a very long time at this point and their self titled debut is one of my favorite records of the early aughts, but I still never thought seeing them and their legendarily intense live show outside the realm of a low quality YouTube video was a thing that would be possible. I figured it was a footnote in history and they were just one of those bands I’d have to accept never having seen live. Flash forward to today, right here in the waning hours of 2022, and the band has re-emerged from retirement to grace us with their presence, the feverish and chaotic fury of their sound a much needed salve in these hellish times
They have announced a 20th anniversary re-issue of their 2003 self-titled debut on Dischord and three East Coast shows to coincide with the release: 4/7/23 Washington DC at Black Cat, 4/8/23 Brooklyn at Market Hotel, and 4/9/23 Philadelphia at First Unitarian Church. No word at this point if these shows and the re-issue are it, or there may be more coming, but either way, this is joyous news. Pre-orders for the record will soon be available directly from Dischord.
Their bio via Dischord reads:
Black Eyes are Dan, Daniel, Hugh, Jacob, and Mike. They began playing as Black Eyes in August of 2001, although most of the band had played together previously in Trooper and The No-Gos before that. The band’s first-full length was released on Dischord in 2003 following several singles on Ruffian Records and Planaria. Black Eyes created a unique live experience as the members made a symmetrical shape on stage, two drummers, one on either side of the stage, two bass players, one at the back and one at the front, and one guitarist in the middle. Their shows were chaotic and often melted down into frenzied, rhythmic jam sessions, with most of the audience partaking in the mayhem by the end of the set. After an extensive tour with Q and Not U, the band released their second full-length, Cough, in May of 2004. This album introduced saxophone to the mix and relied more heavily on improvisational and dub influences that were hinted at in their earlier work. The band broke up shortly before the album was released, at the height of their popularity.
See some of the aforementioned low quality YouTube footage: