Eagle Tears

Self-released, July 2014

If I try to describe the debut album from Eagle Tears, I think of times when music actually held some technical clout. I think the '70s. There's a total '70s metal and hard rock vibe, but to stop there would be too easy. I'll have to get to that in my summation, it'll come.
The eight songs on this LP have craftily paid homage to these tone-heavy times. Whether they meant to or not, it's undeniable. Although their influences are almost in focus, there are no specific examples that scream, "well this song sounds like this band or that song sounds like that band". This my minions, is a skill that many try to master, but few actually attain by not even trying to. Their influences are held very close to their personal style and skill levels.
I have to mention right off the bat that Eagle Tears have three guitarists. That in itself raises the bar to a zone of genuine craft and composition. I mean, who do you think of when you think of bands with three guitar players? I think of The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, most of Frank Zappa's bands, Blue Oyster Cult, Black Oak Arkansas, Buffalo Springfield, The Eagles, Iron Maiden, to a lesser but equally atmospheric extent, Radiohead. Pretty awesome company they're keeping. There's a lot happening here folks, and technical playing and song arrangement pops on this album for me.
Big on the menu is harmony. The vocal harmonies are great. Hal and George belt out great vocal harmonies, and drummer Bob (guitar player for Mad Parish) rambles in with some mighty fine singing, as well as back ups. It always blows my mind when a drummer sings well, the shear separation going on in their brains amuses and impresses me to no end. The vocal harmonies are really there in "Driftwood" and their epic "Lady Bison", and really over the top in "Money for a Woman". The longer these guys play together the better their voices will melt into their harmonies. Their next release will be even sweeter by my calculations.
Speaking of harmonies, let's get down to the meatier harmonies of the guitars. I can only say, tasty, really sweet indeed. There are well thought out guitar harmonies in almost every song. Right from the first song "Sweet Little Thing", and a few songs later in "Driftwood", the guitar harmonies really sing out on top of JB's rumbling shag carpet bass tone. Steve and George and Hal all take turns at harmonising on their guitars with each other, truly paired or tripled for ultimate flavour, a fine skill in itself.
Not to mention the huge, dripping leads oozing off of Steve's Gibson armoury. His Les Paul Custom and jumbo fretted Flying V are just singing on this album. Having played in punk/hardcore bands like Blood Sausage and Jack Boot and the Oppressors has given him a really heavy attack in his solos and riffs. Hooking out on the bass in the Mongrels and playing bass for (Mountain's drummer) Corky Laing's solo project gave him some invaluable experience in classy riffs and letting it all hang out. Which is good because that's exactly what Eagle Tears does. George and Hal's lead work is solid as well, and Hal's harp playing is dubiously frenetic on more than one tune. I personally love it in "Hard and Heavy".

Eagle Tears album launch at La Vitrola
I've seen Eagle Tears live three times now and they do not disappoint. You can hear that these guys rehearse relentlessly. Tight and with an engaging delivery is the trail that they're blazing on stage, and this really comes through on the album. It has a very live feel to it. It is chalk a block with riffage and lead ins and outs to the chorus, pre chorus licks and tasty outros.

They released this album in the summer of 2014 and have sold out their vinyl. Playing at Heavy Montreal and just finishing both west and east coast tours (backing up Hamilton's Monster Truck) here in Canada have definitely broadened their reach and has really solidified their playing and singing as a unit.
I guess I can say they give off that thick carpeted harmonic vibe of bands like The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynrd, that technical Blue Oyster Cult aesthetic, and that undeniably heavy punch and delivery of a Kiss, Humble Pie, or Thin Lizzy, while maintaining a cozy comfort zone with the tones from their Hiwatt and Orange amps, which spread out rich and thick.
I saw them twice before this album was even released and I knew, just from their earlier versions of these songs and the covers they chose to play, that the release would blow doors in 2014. It does not disappoint, in fact it shines, it shines like stars. (Bob will get that one). 

Rating: 8.8/10
--The Kman hosts Beyond That Graveyard III every Friday night from 9 PM to midnight.