Henry Binns (of Zero 7) Interview

Electronic crooners Zero 7’s recent follow up to the highly acclaimed 2004 album When It Falls, The Garden, touches on a unique blend of suburban beats and grassroots tones. Throughout the development of the group’s sound came a tendency to rely on the plentiful resources of other musicians to add a diverse tone to the group’s music. In doing so When It Falls took on roughly twenty musicians in its final production and Zero 7 members Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker found themselves artistically burnt out, and yet, curiously searching for more. The Garden takes a different approach, working with only two guest musicians, longtime Zero 7 collaborator Sia Furler and the king of Swedish indie rock, Jose Gonzales. In this short Q&A Henry Binns discusses touring with James Blunt, translating his own success and regrets surrounding the recording of The Garden.

If you were to try and explain Zero 7’s sound to someone who knows nothing of your music, what would you tell them?

Henry Binns: This is my worst question. I absolutely don’t know how to describe things. I think I’d just give them a CD.

How have you translated the success from When It Falls and the contribution to the Garden State soundtrack? Do you feel that ultimately the group’s success will be hindered or helped by it?

Henry Binns: I really don’t know. It’s difficult to have a perspective on your own work, or to know what it is in it that other people relate too. Ask me that question again when I’m an old man looking back at it all!

How did the collaboration with Jose Gonzales come about and do you see future recordings going to back to more of a collaborative process?

Henry Binns: We heard his CD while we were touring the last album in Scandinavia. When we started work on this album we heard he was doing some gigs in London and went to see him play. We just got in touch with him after that and got him to listen to some of the tracks we were working on. He liked them, so he came down to my gaff in Glastonbury and we did some writing together, and all really liked what we came up with. As for the collaborative process, we felt just as collaborative with the artists we worked with on this album, as on any of the others. In fact we actually got to spend more time with the people we worked with than we ever have been able to before. But we have never really planned who will be on what album, it has just sort of come about. I have found working with different singers has come about in quite an organic way, who’s feeling different tracks, who’s voice I can hear in my minds ear. I can see myself working with everybody who we’ve worked with before, and equally with someone new I might hear.

What plans do you currently have for the upcoming European tour?

Henry Binns: Our record company persuaded us to be support to James Blunt round Europe, they thought it might broaden our listener ship. It unfortunately costs a lot of money to put our band on the road. We would love to do our own European tour in the autumn, but we’ll have to wait and see.

If there was one thing that you could have done different with The Garden what would it have been?

Henry Binns: There’re probably about 100 things I would have done differently, but it is equally important not to labour over things too long or get obsessive about small details. It would be impossible for me to say just one thing.

Good Riddance "My Republic" Review

With the release of Good Riddance’s eighth full length Southern California-branded album, My Republic, there comes a continuation of a back-to-basics movement for the band (without ever neglecting the basics). Seemingly following the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it methodology the band continues to deliver a steady set of songs that persevere through a powerful duality; delivering a set of strong lyrics with an equally firm musical delivery.

The first exposure in which I was made aware of the band fell through the medium of the group’s music video, “One For The Braves,” which was in some sort of moderate exposure at the time on Canada’s Much Music. A strange side note: at the time, or around the time, lead singer Russ Rankin was engaged to then Much Music VJ Rachel Perry (forever after known as VH1’s Rachel Perry), neat huh? The group had some strange, unexplainable characteristic that separated it from the vast landscape of punk and pop-punk bands that were emerging at the time, and the band’s music continually interested through outgoing messages of political and social unrest. The band toured with the likes of No Use For A Name, AFI and Sick Of It All while continuing to record and introduce their sound and words to new global audiences, and in doing so was allowed to continue to mature and grow with the audience, rather than as a strict result of the band’s environment.

If there were to be a fault with My Republic, it would not be that of Good Riddance’s in this case, but of the genre. How can punk stay musically vivid with such narrow boundaries? The band counters with the conclusion expressing that the limits can be countered by ensuring that there is a continual expressive motive driving the music. It may be fashionable to question talking heads and bloated leaders in this day and age, but it’s easy to forget that Good Riddance have been creating such recordings for over a decade.

I’ve been a firm believer that if music can sound good and come off as even mildly creative and have a pure expression or relate valid emotions, it is strong music, no matter what the genre or content. In doing so the members of Good Riddance find themselves apart of a movement to reclaim the term punk for more than a fashionable descriptor, and in doing so, My Republic succeeds.

Good Riddance "My Republic" Review

With the release of Good Riddance’s eighth full length Southern California-branded album, My Republic, there comes a continuation of a back-to-basics movement for the band (without ever neglecting the basics). Seemingly following the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it methodology the band continues to deliver a steady set of songs that persevere through a powerful duality; delivering a set of strong lyrics with an equally firm musical delivery.

The first exposure in which I was made aware of the band fell through the medium of the group’s music video, “One For The Braves,” which was in some sort of moderate exposure at the time on Canada’s Much Music. A strange side note: at the time, or around the time, lead singer Russ Rankin was engaged to then Much Music VJ Rachel Perry (forever after known as VH1’s Rachel Perry), neat huh? The group had some strange, unexplainable characteristic that separated it from the vast landscape of punk and pop-punk bands that were emerging at the time, and the band’s music continually interested through outgoing messages of political and social unrest. The band toured with the likes of No Use For A Name, AFI and Sick Of It All while continuing to record and introduce their sound and words to new global audiences, and in doing so was allowed to continue to mature and grow with the audience, rather than as a strict result of the band’s environment.

If there were to be a fault with My Republic, it would not be that of Good Riddance’s in this case, but of the genre. How can punk stay musically vivid with such narrow boundaries? The band counters with the conclusion expressing that the limits can be countered by ensuring that there is a continual expressive motive driving the music. It may be fashionable to question talking heads and bloated leaders in this day and age, but it’s easy to forget that Good Riddance have been creating such recordings for over a decade.

I’ve been a firm believer that if music can sound good and come off as even mildly creative and have a pure expression or relate valid emotions, it is strong music, no matter what the genre or content. In doing so the members of Good Riddance find themselves apart of a movement to reclaim the term punk for more than a fashionable descriptor, and in doing so, My Republic succeeds.

Where There's Smoke There's Fire

For a while here, I've been feeling a bit bored with the current state of rock. I don't mean that there's not music out right now that I'm impressed with (The Raveonettes, White Stripes, Kaiser Chiefs, Sleater-Kinney and even Audioslave among others are all getting a lot of time on my speakers)...it's just...I want more. Is there more out there, am I depriving myself of something that others are gladly exposing themselves to. With that question in mind I came about getting my "hands" on the latest release from Mariah Carey...and Kelly Clarkson (see post "Quick Look Album Reviews").

To be honest, it has been a long time since I've really given pop music a try. Was I missing out on something that could enhance the time I spend with music on around the house? Operation: Kelly Clarkson didn't fair so well...I did enjoy two of the songs on the album, however...the results were far from what I was looking for. That shouldn't be the only example, I thought to myself, of outreach to the blossoming pop-music culture. Should I let a young, yet-to-mature, star-in-the-making artist influence my view on pop music? (and furthermore, shoud-I-keep-typing-in-this-matter-?) No! (to all of the above)

Mariah Carey "The Emancipation of Mimi"

Why was this album chosen over a vast catalogue of other current pop mega-stars?

1. It has been dominating the Billboard charts as of late
2. Mariah Carey is an established singer and from what I've read, has reinvented herself after the whole "Glitter" debocle
3. Usually, where there's smoke, there's fire, and if nothing else, there's hype on this album

Track 1 - It's Like That: This seems like a good song for the clubs; a good beat and not too much of Carey's over-the-top (there I go again) vocals (or hip hop shout outs...though there are a few "Let's go now...here we go now...WHAA"s near the end. Rating = Acceptable

Tracks 2-14: Absolutely what I remembered from pop music. There is a shift from the "new" Mariah to the "classic" Mariah sound throughout the album, but it doesn't get the juices flowing for me to be honest. I tried...Oh Lord, I tried. I don't want to start cursing and calling the album many things that it might not be in all reality, but understand this...if Snoop Dogg performing on your album doesn't keep it poppin' (tha shorties callin' it that these days?), God help you Mariah. Well, not "God" persay, but...no, I take that back, let me start over:

if Snoop Dogg performing on your album doesn't keep it poppin' (tha shorties callin' it that these days?), it's time to call it quits. And thanks to Kelly Clarkson and Mariah Carey, my short experiment in pop music has been more than enough for me to decide to call it quits in that area of audio-exploration.

The Walkmen "A Hundred Miles Off" Review

Through the New York based band's travels the recording process has proven to produce an increasingly overachieving brand of music as time progresses. With The Walkmen's follow-up to the band's uber-successful 2004 album Bows & Arrows comes a twisting and unbalanced record that finds both power, enlightenment and heartache when reflecting in the band's past fame and future aspirations.

Lead singer Hamilton Leithauser reflected on the album after its completion noting that "it's not immediately hard hitting, it's a slow builder, but I think it has the longest replayability." This is a possibility, however after multiple listens the album proves to have less flow and reoccurring high points than past releases. Just as the album begins to blossom there becomes a great divide in which rooty influences begin to blend and mix with modern tastes. The ultimate result is a convoluted blend somewhere between a first rate cover band, in such tracks as the electrified shade of Dylan-like swagger in "Lost in Boston," and the ferocious, rhythmless blastoff "Tenley-Town."

The Walkmen now seem bleached and slightly withered from the brilliance and acclaim associated with 2004's Bows & Arrows. Will statisticians of the future ever figure the probability of a band releasing a stunning, career-changing album and following it up with one worthy of similar merit? If they do, chances are that the odds were against The Walkmen from the beginning and there was nothing the band could do about it.

With success comes pressure. With multiple appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and features on FOX's The OC comes pressure. The final result, a performance under the weight of these pressures is, A Hundred Miles Off, an album that marginally distances itself from its predecessors by changing the band's overall formula slightly. Bassist Peter Bauer took over organ duties and organist Walter Martin completed the exchange by handling the bass for the album's recording. The swap, however minute it may have been, is slightly representative of A Hundred Miles Off. While it's the same band in essence, something seems to be lost or at least off, and the result displaces some previously solid fixture that brought each member of the band to where they are today.

Björk "The Music From Drawing Restraint 9" Review

Björk has made a handsome living from defining and recreating boundaries in the aural arts. One of the key characteristics made throughout her career has been the tremendous lack of separation between what is recorded and what her fans marvel at. As her career progresses she has been given the liberty of continually defining herself through any number of experimental projects, as many to critical acclaim as to critical question. As time goes on there is a sense of connect to Björk that I hadn't previously had, much due to the lack of artificial influence in her work. Her music is genuine, in that she isn't making it with hopes of spiting modern radio, and nor is she making it for the simple credibility that is associated with her (lack of) genre. She admirably makes the music that she loves, whatever form it may take. A Drawing Restraint 9 site comments wisely on her style, in that she is "refusing to choose between pop pleasure and restless experimentation, Björk's musical vision weds technology and emotion, countering gut-level expression with an insistence upon formal modernity and innovation."

The Music From Drawing Restraint 9 accompanies the film in a manor uncharacteristic of the majority of scores. The audio accompaniment engulfs the visuals throughout the film and directly serves as well placed keys to emotional targets, carefully lending itself as the only dialogue to the film for all but one of the scenes. As the description surmises, this is a stage well suited for Björk's composition skills. As she only contributes orally to 2 songs it is amazing to see how her production and arrangement skills transfer some precise characteristics of her music to other musicians' work. Far from much of her 2004 release Medúlla comes an increasingly raw track performed by throat singer Tagaq. "Pearl" is much like the rest of the album as it is a traditional track, distancing itself from much of the hip-hop and dance influenced music found on Björk's experimentation with the outlet.

As is the case with much of Björk's catalogue there is a dramatic learning curve, of sorts, in that it takes a number of listening sessions to begin to understand and appreciate what is actually on the recording. The Music From Drawing Restraint 9 is no different as its shocking first listen initially startles before settling in; showing that it takes time to familiarize oneself to a new, alien piece of music. The artistic beauty is lost at times however as the accompanying visuals aren't provided to aid in the music. The tracks admittedly provide a great deal of their own visually warming aids on their own, however, symbolic of not only Björk's influence but of the dramatic role each character plays in the sonant.

Pretty Flowers "Pretty Flowers" EP Review

Pretty Flowers is a Brooklyn-based four-piece that harkens back to the post-punk era of bands that played solid mid-tempo music based on harder, faster influences. The three-song debut EP explicitly borrows from a wide range of bands from the early '80s, and the group does so effectively. Keeping somewhat of a rough sound through a modest recording budget has its definite benefits.

"I've Got Your Love" is reminiscent Hüsker Dü, with its fast paced, muted drum set. If the band's eponymous EP was longer than 10 minutes it might become clearer as to whether the Pretty Flowers sound is simply a knock-off or a continuation of a lost gem. Time will tell.

The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower "INRI" EP Review

San Diego's The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower have been receiving quite a bit of recognition within the confines of modern indie, but when it comes to bands with more than 7 words in their names, this usually spells trouble. The band's INRI EP successfully serves as a quick once over of the quartet's image and sound, introducing drawn out vocals, crashing percussion and deep bass, all of which characterize the single's sound.

The EP also includes a rendition of David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging" and a remix by Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner which help develop the band as one with a broader tone, especially "Boys..." which touches on Bowie's bouncier beat and lighter melody. Zinner's remix adds what most mixes do, a slight touch-up from a different perspective, which coming from his background is something that TPTBUTET should take advantage of as it sounds fresher and sharper than the original. But far be it from me to mistake a 3-song EP for a revealing look at a band which has the possibility of developing into something unique.

Zero 7 "The Garden" Review

Who is Zero 7? Remember that one movie with that one perfectly placed song? If the movie you're thinking about was Garden State, chances are you already know Zero 7. However in an attempt to change what might be perceived as the duo's image stemming from the success of 2004's When It Falls (and exposure through mediums such as movies) Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker moved their production out of London's core and into Glastonbury. The thought was to also limit the level of collaboration in hopes of finding a grassroots sound, possibly even to find something they weren't even looking for in the process. They needed change, and change they found. Reeling from the near-20 guest musicians that appeared on When It Falls, Binns and Hardaker made the simple addition of 2 for The Garden, long time collaborator Sia Furler and Swedish indie-hipster Jose Gonzales.

As an album The Garden is deceiving. It progressively becomes somewhat scattered and its musical meaning becomes less understandable. The lead-off track "Futures," featuring Gonzales, and the Furler collaboration "Throw It All Away" influence the listener into developing certain expectations surrounding what is to follow. The two smooth, moody, coffee-shop rock feeling tracks are followed with a five minute departure into light, flowing electronica. "Seeing Things" reveals a movement closer to the electronic based music that follows, while still managing somewhat of a balance. The Garden is deceiving in that it manifests itself as a hybrid when you aren't expecting it and introduces a variety of new sounds when it seems as though it is following a pattern. Even its concluding track "Waiting To Die" comes as somewhat unexpected as it is similar in feel to the album's initial tracks. Somehow The Garden goes full circle without lending any sense of direction or indication as to how it was done.

In an attempt to find a balance that was lost with the recent surge in the duo's popularity Zero 7 made a variety of lifestyle and musical changes which resulted in The Garden, too, finding balance. Limited collaboration allowed Binns and Hardaker to develop sounds truly identifiable to their current musical disposition and they did so in a crafty way which made it hard while enabling consistent seamless transitions. For whatever reasoning can be attributed to The Garden sounding as it does, Zero 7 have completed something not simply masterful, but enjoyable in the process.

Gisli "How About That?" Review

Now living in Norway, Icelandic drummer/singer Gisli’s album How About That? comes as somewhat of a reminder as to what was both good and bad about one-man-band self-indulgence. On one hand, artistic freedom can allow a unique sound to blossom, but, sometimes a little outside input doesn’t hurt. With musical reference points plucked from just about anywhere within the ’90s Gisli reprises a variety of rolls that various musicians took during the decade. It’s hard listening to the album without remembering certain points in time, certain styles, artists, songs, videos, or television programs. It’s like watching an episode of VH1’s program I Love The 90s. For those of you better than I, who haven’t seen the show, it’s essentially a recap of all the pop culture from the decade, with just enough humor and credibility (or just humor) to keep one watching.

Do you remember the first time that you ever heard Mellow Gold? Or maybe it wasn’t the first time, maybe it was the third or fourth time you came by the CD at a pawn shop somewhere and couldn’t remember why you pawned it in the first place. Did you like it? Chances are Gisli did. Growing out of a musical era which saw what could be considered the rise of Caucasian-rap, and the subsequent rise of folk-rappers, jam-band-rappers and most recently Hasidic-rap, has its obvious effects, and from time to time on How About That? it shows. The basic riff backing “Go Get’m Tiger” mimics the crackling-voiced J. Mascis rapping in all his glory, if he were to ever give the genre a try. Except it’s Gisli, not Mascis. It’s not Beck, it’s Gisli. And to some degree it’s predictable, it’s Gisli.

What’s appealing about Gisli is what’s appealing about I Love The 90s. It’s all something we’ve seen before, heard before and enjoyed before. There’s nothing wrong with rehashing a bit of the past every now and then, even if the past wasn’t necessarily that great to begin with. It’s not like Gisli is attempting to recapture the pre-millennium via covers of Chumbawumba, he’s taking a stab at some pretty decent music. And entirely effective at pulling off a variety of popular retro sounds (can the 90s be considered retro yet?), How About That? could be either an effective first mover in recapturing a decade, or just a copycat. Either way, it still sounds good.

NOFX "Never Trust A Hippie" EP Review

The latest EP from NOFX, Never Trust A Hippie, serves as a precursor and introduction to the band's album Wolves In Wolves' Clothing. Through the band's 23 years together it has provided a unique take on classic liberalism ranging from 1991's blast on vegetarianism (Liberal Animation) or 2003's response to Bush's presidency (War on Errorism). One of the unique, and often criticized, characteristics of the band is that they honestly seem to be trying to evolve. Whether or not you like, dislike or have no opinion of the band, it's fairly apparent that something's changing when a band's lyrical base shifts away from “Oi!” and tongue-in-cheek pseudo-punk to topics of religion and politics. But, such is the story of NOFX these days.

The Never Trust a Hippie EP starts out with the killer ode to Minneapolis, "Seeing Double at the Triple Rock," which is as loud and powerful NOFX song as any. The only unfortunate consequence of starting any album off with the most complete and solid track is that the rest of the album seems weak in comparison. While this isn't entirely the case, as the politics and religious cynicism that follows remain a strong focal point, the tempo is lost and the EP suffers for it.

Back to the subject of lyrical growth for a moment, however. I once had a philosophy professor whose first comment on the first day of classes was that he's tired of arguing his points when, after twenty-some years of teaching, he knows that he's right in his own mind. NOFX comes off in much the same way with the track "You're Wrong." Blasting homophobic nature, right wing Christianity, the NRA and capital punishment comes off as a blunt look at where the band is currently at ideologically; and I think that's important. Sometimes even the liberal media (NOFX?) help explain why there's a lot of anger stemming from (what some might consider) big-headed movements driven by egos, complacent laws and apathy. Maybe, just maybe...NOFX isn't "right" about "everything", but from time to time, it doesn’t hurt to hear multiple sides to any number of arguments.

And if that doesn't cut it, there's still the one (five) liners, "I might be an adult but I'm still a minor at heart, OK my liver is my senior part, but that's a part you can trade in, When your band has been a band longer than the Ramones and critics coin you 'the punk Rolling Stones,' then you'll know this is for life." ...Because after all these years, I know I'm right in my own mind.

Mike Patton Interview


Mike Patton has one of the most expansive bodies of work in modern rock music, ranging from the now defunct multi-platinum selling Faith No More to recording with the thunderous math/noise rock band the Dillinger Escape Plan to multiple guest spots with avant jazz composer John Zorn. His most recent project, Peeping Tom, reveals collaborations with a collective of some of the most influential and entertaining musicians from around the world ranging from the human beat-box Rahzel to adult-contemporary darling Norah Jones to UK trip-hop founders Massive Attack. In this interview Patton discusses the demo and collaborative process, recording in Italy and the future of Peeping Tom

Where did the Peeping Tom name come from?

From the 1960 thriller movie of the same name.

What can we expect to hear with Peeping Tom that differs it from past projects?

Well, it is certainly more linear. I hear a lot of different elements and genres rolled into one messy pile. But for all I know you will hear nü-metal!

With prior collaborations with musicians ranging from John Zorn to Buzz Osbourne how did you go about deciding who to work with for the Peeping Tom album?

The music directs me. After I work on something it is usually pretty obvious who I should get to play it. I pretty much imitate people when doing the original demos on each track. I like to work with people I respect and that I know are pros. But I do also like to explore the unknown.

Have you had any recent opportunities to guest on other band’s albums as you did with the Dillinger Escape Plan or the myriad of other bands & artists you’ve worked with.

I get offers all the time. I recently went to Italy to work with an orchestra on a classical piece written by Eyvind Kang. He is a total little known musical genius in Seattle. Talking to Dan the Automator about doing something and Rahzel as well.

What future plans do you have – is there life after Peeping Tom?

More Peeping Tom recording and touring, more Tomahawk, more Fantómas, more Lovage, the record with Eyvind Kang, scoring and indie film, voice work in video game “The Darkness”… It never ends!

Gnarls Barkley “St. Elsewhere” Review

Stemming from a remix collaboration between the two, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo present Gnarls Barkley as a collaborative experience far from either of the members’ brands. Danger Mouse recalls that “it’s not so much a Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse record as the two of us together being something else. There was kind of a different thing going on with us as we were doing this record. The combination of the two of us made (it) something other than just the obvious. So we gave it a name, and that’s what it was.” (Pitchfork) Along the road to St. Elsewhere the duo found a few musicians here and there, including acclaimed session drummer Eric Bobo and L.A. trumpeter Chris Tedesco among others, and found a way to electronify soul.

It’s increasingly difficult to initially look beyond “Crazy” and peak a little deeper into the album and its intricacies, but one cannot forget what took the group to such great heights. “Crazy,” St. Elsewhere’s lead single, was the first ever single to go #1 in the UK strictly from legal online downloads, and has recently tied Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as it has reached it’s 9th straight week at #1. As mentioned, the album is rather atypical for both musicians, and the variety in songwriting and production shows this to be true. Through taking on a schizophrenic song writing approach which rages from the disturbingly sweet, downbeat “Necromancer” to the near jungle “Transformer,” Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse show that Gnarls Barkley is definitely something all unto itself.

It’s hard to imagine what one can mean when explaining an album’s lyrics as stunning, but… with Gnarls Barkley Cee-Lo takes on one half of this new persona and creates a unique set of history and thoughts for a character; stunning. Danger Mouse follows suit in creating a set of emotions which relate to the lyrics in such a way that album comes off as more of a testimonial than a set of songs. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing a Gnarls Barkley performance, ranging anywhere from The Top of the Pops to Late Night with Conan O’Brien, you’ll know that this transformation of character is real. Each day offers new thoughts and each performance offers itself as an avenue to communicate just how unique a pair…em, soul Gnarls Barkley is.

Snow Patrol "Eyes Open" Review

Irish indie rockers Snow Patrol fell into fashion with the band's 2003 release Final Straw. Blending into its surroundings Snow Patrol found popularity through the band's fresh appeal; though in all reality it had been a long time coming. Forming in and around 1994, Snow Patrol reveals Eyes Open as the band's fourth album, finding its increased expectation resulting in, at times, both pulsating musical flair and tranquilizing lulls.

By maintaining a sense of accessibility Snow Patrol's Final Straw was released to much critical acclaim characterized by its similarities to comparable bands such as the hugely popular Coldplay. The band's music struck a note with fans of a slower, sentimental brand of rock which was reaching its peak in popularity at the time.Eyes Open offers much a similar style of song though it is being released in somewhat of a different musical environment. The blessings that (mild) overproduction and mellow melodies were to the band's last release come as handicaps with Eyes Open as they distract from the songwriting and allow the listener to examine how distinct the band is from its contemporaries.

It's that comparison that allows the listener to both enjoy and find distaste for the group. There is something oddly familiar with Snow Patrol, something that brings about a sense of home, or longing, but with that comes an inferior level of innovation in the music. Some of the finer tracks such as "You're All I Have" and "Shut Your Eyes" find themselves appealing as such, both comforting and disturbingly similar to much of what has already been recorded and heard within the genre. By appealing to a certain fashion or cast of listener these similarities can easily become a downfall for the band. Though Snow Patrol offer a number of pleasurable songs on Eyes Open, they do so as passive pioneers, offering enough creativity with key tracks that shadow the majority of Eyes Open's homogeneous output.