This is an important release for Doppler Effect Records. Unique, original, yet reflecting upon it's origin and the tradition of what was, is and will be 'Industrial music'. This is mad electronica, crazy beats, messed up samples, frighteningly real. Thine Eyes rises out of the recent growth of the (true) electronic underground and is an excellent example of what can be creatively and intelligently achieved in the every drab music scene. With loads of variety, Christian Sex Loops is bound to enchant many people for years to come. Smart and spritely use of samples, beats, rhythms, guitar (not the messy distorted type) put together with the sensibilities of time tested mastery create a great album to relax and listen to. And if your careful, you might hear something that will keep you coming back for more. This happened to me with track four, a mixture of funk and carnival noises assembled in a manner which causes me to reflect and to think of the future. What will Thine Eyes do to you? (Black Monday - Miles)
The future evolution of electro-industrial occures usually in remote and strange places. Witness the bizarre and eclectic mutations of Portland, Oregon's Thine Eyes, an odd trio of sound explorers whose debut starts off with Aphex Twin drum'n'bass rhythms and quickly descends into the depths of electro-experimentalism. The scope of this CD is vast and encompasses so many genres that it transcends them all. "Hit music for romantic moods" reads the CD sleeve, and the tongue-in-cheek jab does resonate whenever the off-key vocals interject into the electronic barrage on songs like Flick Flick. At times the playful melodies and crashing beats on tracks like SeeSaw evokes Aphex Twin, but Thine Eyes offers layers of chaotic textures rather than Aphex Twin's calculated minimalism. Tanner Volz, Rian Callahan and Laird Sheldahl certainly have created one of the most innovative and forward-thinking albums this year. (Voltage - David Slatton)
Thine Eyes is certainly not a band to ignore. Their music is a blend of generous amounts of seasoned loops and vibrating lively bassy sampling touched with unrelenting mechanical movements and jabs. Techno heads can rejoice however on Kicking Iams, a pure blast to listen to. More fast moving work of percussive artistry, intense loops and layers of vocals, synths and samples resides in The Celibate, while sampling that moves towards the noisey end of things with deep crashing percussion and high pitch timbres results in Exhaust. One of my favourite tracks, Manual has a sample I quote often on the web, "I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I am all out of bubblegum!", what a great track with more experimental sounds structured around drum loops and wonderful synthy percussion! This release is quite progressive electronic- experimental-looped percussion. You'll find tasty sampling, dark melody and harmonics, squeeky patches and scratched gaps layered on an ocean of drum programming, vocals on a few tracks and a good deal of pseudo-industrial yet followable chaos. Most tracks are very good dance music (DJ's warm those players!). Sounds whirr and blend thier way into and out of sculptured hertz of aural art. Christian Sex Loops is very dynamic, original and has excellent composition and production. (Lastsigh - Kim Alexander)
Wow! This is what we can call a real metamorphosis. Thine Eyes have mutated from an ethereal electronic band with a slight Goth attitude to a compact sample hacker Industrial act! Thine Eyes put lot of effort into the rhythm construction on this album and it gives their sound a totally new shape! So much, that I wonder whether I am listening to the same band. Anyway, let's forget the female vocals and enjoy the complex sound manipulations packed into this album. A very artistic and cohesive melting pot of everything and nothing, from breakbeats to manic drums, from random piano sounds to saturated vocal samples. It's a weird post Ambient rhythm synth CD that lacks a hit or something. No song really emerges here, Christian Sex Loops is more kind of an album making a whole with new noises arriving at every corner of the listening experience. Worth a listen! (Sideline - Seba)
mesg: cannot stat Structured noise artists Thine Eyes return with Christian Sex Loops, an onslaught of layered noises, samples, beats and the occasional lyrics, often absent of rhythm. Sounding like a child playing with sound nobs on an alien space ship filtered through water, space, and time, they create an eerie, unusual atmosphere. My favorite tracks include ones with a little more coherence; House Parts and Warpaint. I'd like to hear something holding it together more, but it is only lack of convention that makes this difficult to take in at first. While this is sure to go over a lot of heads - it's not immediately accessible - their experimentation is fresh, different and deserve a listen. (Effigy - Karen Collins)
Major props go to Doppler Effect Records for the signing of their first band, Thine Eyes. This Seattle based trio has been kicking around for a few years and have finally been signed to a label for their debut full length. Christian Sex Loops is 13 tracks of bizarre electronic music that ranges from dub-infected grooves to ambient influenced soundscapes to trippy tech-electro. Each and every song is very complex and full of changes. This is a trend that more bands need to pick up on in order to satiate the masses and keep them coming back for more. Flick Flick is an immediate favorite due to it's combination of random music elements and untreated, soft vocals. Even though the music behind this piece seems erratic and disjointed, it still works well and actually comes off sounding great! Turning the tables and heading off in a totally different direction is SeeSaw (Amendments 1). This track takes on a slight hip-hop influence, but blends it together with strange and unique samples and sequences. The raw vocals return on The Celibate, another track that features an array of odd sounds, all of which are held together by a rumbling rhythm. Manual is a harder / more aggressive piece with a denser rhythm and thicker sequences, making it the most accessible track on Christian Sex Loops. The closing piece, Is It All Red? features toned down demonic vocal samples, screeching sequences, a pulsating rhythm, and steady beats. Thine Eyes has a sound and style that is truly unique, but if I had to make a comparison I'd try to imagine the offspring of Clock DVA meets Download. (Industrial Bible - Dachar)
What sound is heard when bleak industrialists emulate sonic madmen like Aphex Twin? Processed rhythms constructed with shrapnel from exploding samples tweak and spin. Remorseful voices drip from spent vocal cannons; choked guitars garble dissonant last words of fuzz and feedback; nomadic beats bounce of creaking doors. This depressing barrage of sound and panoramic mixing produces multicolored still frames that scroll backward through the mind. Imagine a fusion of u-ziq, Scar Tissue, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk. Brilliant! (Alternative Press - Aaron Johnston - 5/5)
Masters of intricate sampling and precise chaos, Thine Eyes rival (and even surpass) more accomplished veterans (such as Download, Underworld, and even Aphex Twin) and have the potential to accumulate a huge following, yet are strangely unknown to the majority of electro fans. Their latest release, Christian Sex Loops, is densely layered with intelligent, thought-out excursions into the cranial land of experimental electronic music, while seemlessly binding it all with melodic, soothing vocals and atmospheric consistencies. While these vocals are rather minimal on the 13 tracks, the music itself is captivating enough to stand alone, which it does quite effectively. This release is superior in sound and innovative approach, and cannot be overlooked. (Daryl Litts - In Faction)
If there is just one independent record you need to buy, then this is it. Thine Eyes are the absolute kings of sound manipulation and construction, and Christian Sex Loops is perhaps the freshest digital mayhem to be released in a very long time. Infuse the sonic mayhem of more recent haujobb with disturbing. Gothic keyboards, moving Industrial loops and a certain dark funk not to be fucked with, and you have Thine Eyes. Vaseline Machine is a throbbing mess of beats ala Lassigue Bendthaus, a twisted carnival guitar sample (yes, a carnival guitar) and a faint bass line that moves on a subconscious level. Flick Flick is the first track with vocals, which sound a bit like R.E.M., but the music is a scintillating wave of electronics and quirky sci-fi sounds, with relentless panning that makes the listener fell as though they are rapidly dunking their head in and out of an empty trash can with a Lost In Space episode playing in the background. The Cockroach is complete bedlam, with sound tweaking that would put a Drum'n'Bass producer to shame; grinding electronics slip in and out of snare Brum rolls of feedback, a sampled acoustic guitar rises from the mess and disappears just as quickly, subliminal voice samples add extra dementia, and underneath it all is a sledgehammer rhythm that holds the whole thing together. And the whole record goes on like this, building and dropping, grinding, then screeching to a dead halt. (by the way, this record's full effect can only be felt with headphones. Stereo speakers, no matter how good, just don't quite convey the subliminal complexity of the tracks.) Mostly instrumental and 100% electronic, these boys have left their cliched ethereal keyboards to the Projekt crew and have crafted a whole new sound of avant-garde music that puts them on par with Autechre, haujobb and Aphex Twin. A complete findfuck of an album, a stereophonic blast to the senses, a label-dodging record that progresses far beyond the boundaries of contemporary electro. Absolutely essential. Kevin Potts - GRiD)
While Christian Sex Loops is the third (fifth if you count tape only releases) album from Oregonian (if that's the word - Oregonite? Oregone?) band Thine Eyes, it's their first domestic release, and the first to demonstrate their new sound. Well, new-ish, anyway - my exposure to the band hasn't been particularly thorough to date, and is limited to a few tracks on compilations, but what I hear here does seem to match the band's claim to have changed their sound - less gothic, more outright weird.
I suppose I should define weird. Weird, in this case, is experimental yet accessible, strange yet catchy. No one band's influence is really apparent here, instead there's a blending of genres, fusing elements from a grab-bag of electronic styles that range from old-school industrial through the more danceable industrial of the late eighties and contemporary electronica, with a side order of goth. The only bands whose style I can readily compare this to is The Eyes Of Stanley Pain-era Download, although even that comparison isn't a very accurate one, or perhaps what you'd get if you mixed all of Dave Thrussell's various projects together. Another possible reference point would be early Severed Heads - there's a certain shared balance of melody and noise.
The first track, Uncomplication, gets the album off to a strong start. Big, crunchy beats mix with drum'n'bass hyperactivity as somewhat zoned-out vocals float in and out over the top, the whole periodically drifting off into borderline ambience before thudding back into life. Crunchiness is also much in evidence on the second track, Vaseline Machine. This reminds me a little of something from Snog's most recent - the bassline has echoes of The Prole Song, and there's steel guitar - but mixed with some really nice, powerful percussion and a highly entertaining selection of samples. Listen to this often enough and you'll never get the phrase "I'll tune in the geo-analyzer" (from a cartoon, by the sounds of it) out of your head. Add a sick (as in ill, rather than as in twisted) sounding melody that lurches in from time to time, and a hint of a vocal here and there, and the concoction is complete.
Vocals are more prominent on Flick Flick, and I have to admit that while there's nothing actually wrong with it and the rhythm track's interesting, the track's not one of my favourites. SeeSaw is much more up my street, a hideously catchy and highly intriguing little samplefest that I'd liken to old, Since The Accident-era Severed Heads. The Cockroach also has its share of samples, although it's a much more aggressive, harsh piece with drum'n'bass style percussion that isn't so much machine-gun like as comprised of the rhythmic equivalent of the entire arsenal of an entire division. It's marvellously busy and loud, with a heap of stuff going on.
Next, Kickin Iams, which combines more drum'n'bass percussion with a rather Puppy-esque bass line and a gentler synth lead. Although there's some mightily impressive rhythmic elements in there, I find the track a little on the repetitive side, and lacks the distinctive character of most of the material. There's more pounding bass and dark synth work in The Celibate, which hints at both old Severed Heads and Skinny Puppy. The lyrics are interesting enough, but the contrast between the vocal style and the overall sound is perhaps a little too pronounced, and it sounds a little out of place. House Parts is a pleasant, restrained and rather forgettable instrumental which, in its favour, at least provides a moment's respite from the album's chunkier material. Exhaust has some satisfyingly menacing synth sounds, more of that multi-kiloton percussion, and vocals. While the vocal style is the same as that elsewhere - mercifully free of distortion, so that you can hear the fact that the lyrics really aren't half bad - the track itself has more of that early Severed Heads chaotic crunch to it.
Manual is highly enjoyable, with relentless and bountiful noisy percussion and pleasingly rounded synth sweeps. It's probably my favourite track on the album - this isn't entirely coincidentally because it's the only track here that clearly resembles another artist, as the overall impression suggests a head-on, maiming collision between classic Severed Heads, Autechre and maybe even a little Kraftwerk. Somehow the track is incredibly...satisfying, as though all the aspects of the band's sound hinted at elsewhere combine perfectly. If I've got any complaint with the track, it's that it's too short - right at the end, there's a hint that it's about to shift up to another gear entirely, but rather than doing so it just fades away. Frustrating, to say the least. Warpaint is another almost-instrumental, and while decent enough, isn't really anything to go nuts about. The dark, atmospheric Count is a lot more enjoyable, although apart from a sudden burst of extreme noise somewhere in the middle, it doesn't really evolve to any extent.
The album goes out on a high note, with the wonderfully strange, rhythmically alluring Is It All Red? Plenty of weird samples, screechy synths, and a rhythm track that bounces off the walls. Delightful.
I have to say I'm really quite impressed with this album. It took a few listens to grow on me, and I wasn't exactly blown away at first, but once I got into it, it became a lot more enjoyable. If there's a reason for the album's slow-grow nature, it's that the album's strongest material is spread evenly over the album, and that some of the tracks are probably a bit longer than they really need to be. You could cut five minutes off the length of this album and not lose anything. Since the tracks are roughly split evenly between the great, the good and the average, and it seems to be the weaker tracks that go longer than necessary (although that's the case almost by definition), the gaps between the album's real peaks are fairly wide. To get the most from the disc, you really need to listen to it from beginning to end, preferably several times.
Those reservations aside, this is a strong "almost-sorta-debut" release. Some of the tracks here are wonderfully refreshing, and many have a familiar yet new quality, that suggests a good balance between stylistically familiar "genre" elements and innovation. Recommended. (Al Crawford - Al's Review Archive)
Thine Eyes is an experimental electronic band. What this album mainly delivers is musical art instrumentals created with electronic sequencing, sampling and drum programming. There is some structure and tribal rhythms and beats, but for the most part this is experimental electronic sound effects and noises all thrown together to make for some really different music. There are some tracks here that actually include melodic male singing, but it's very soft and muffled in the background. There's some funk and sci-fi elements included as well to add even more variety. This album does have a lot of different things happening in it and that's what makes it interesting. I still wouldn't say that this music is my cup of tea, but I can see how it might appeal to someone. Most experimental electronic musical art bands just don't make any sense to me, but Thine Eyes is actually doing something quite creative and diverse. It might not be my thing, but I still respect it for what it is. At least I hear talent and skill in these songs. I can't really say the same for a lot of other acts out there doing similar music. However, this album also proves to me that Thine Eyes could indeed be a very good electro industrial or synth-pop band if they wanted to be. The music is very layered and the little singing included in some of these songs is very good. I personally think this is the direction that they should go in the future. But as far as experimental electro music goes, Thine Eyes is one of the best bands that I have heard. This album will hold your interest and make you want to come back for more. (WrappedinWire)
Thine Eyes have undergone a startling transformation from the Electro-Goth sound they've been known for in the past, and have mutated into a dark electronic/experimental force with a passing resemblance to Download and Autechre. There are a couple of duff bits around the middle of the album, marred mainly by weak vocals, but tracks like Vaseline Machine and Count make it all worthwhile. (Greg Clow - Feedback Monitor)
Despite having been around for the majority of the nineties and being plugged as having exceptional accolades, it's a surprise I've never heard of the. Perhaps even more of a surprise when I convey to you that they've pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to formulating some more then interesting Post-Industrial electronic mutterings. Some of the tracks may seem a mess of sampling at first, and some probably are just that, yet others do grow on you, especially Flick Flick and the tongue in cheek See Saw which rather takes the piss out of the whole Breakbeat genre. Meanwhile, The Cockroach takes the piss out of virtually every musical genre existing, which believe me is pretty difficult to do in six minutes. How they pull it off is beyond me, but you have to admire the attempt. However you can't help thinking they have tried to be a little too clever and there is little of lasting value that you can grasp onto at the end of the proceedings when all is said and done. Whilst some critics may be desperate to find the next big thing may admire this album through confusion rather than anything else, I remain skeptical to suggestions that they are one of the best undiscovered bands around, the ideas certainly are there, but more substance, less gimmicks please. (Dan Turner - Hard Wired)
Christian Sex Loops is primarily an instrumental and experimental mish mash on analogue-ish electronics, distorted odd noises, and the occasional sampled vocal. And much like flipping through all the channels on your TV set over and over for an extended amount of time, which could be interesting and entertaining, this CD is sometimes rattling and a little too chaotic for the ear, mind, and body to focus. Although Thine Eyes are talented in the intuitive programming department and have an admirable playful quality about their music, most of the electronic and keyboard sounds on Christian Sex Loops were quite irksome. Maybe it's their equipment, maybe it's the mix, maybe it's the EQ-ing? But Christian Sex Loops lacks the compelling "groove, funky breakbeats, and ambient melodies" that this CD and press sheet allude to, but never quite reaches or maintains. If they could only harness that energy, which at times is just as splunky as a bunch of kids on speed going at it in the keyboard section of K-Mart. (rodent EK - Outburn)
Progressive Ambient Hip-Hop meets Experimental Dub devolution. In other words, it's neat. Perhaps more Hip than Hop, this should stand up against most of the detritus passwd off as Progressive Electronica. Christian Sex Loops is the result of Seattle's Thine Eyes obsessing in late night studios, imbibing Coca-Cola and God knows what else. The result is a brilliant exploration of sound and structure. Thine Eyes' previous history had them in the role of (Visi)Goths and Industrialists, so my ears were aghast to find a band that seems to be evolving into a viable entity well beyond either of these realms. Uncomplication sets the reels spinning into fractured Techno snaps and hisses and bassy palpitation behind a smorgsabord of tones, served hot with a movementous(sp) blend of samples and electronics. Vaseline Machine throws guitar breaks into Das Stew, thumping in quiet bumps, the likes of which you might expect from MoWax or Ninja Tune in their more controlled moments. Flick Flick introduces vocals and piano lines. The vocals are not good but are endearing, in a Sakamoto way, and an effective ingredient in mellowdics(sp) See Saw (Amendments 1) has got the funk and a sampled loop that is both sexy and Christian while The Cockroach, one of the few remotely Industrial tracks on the whole opus, mashes its own sly humor into Download worthy confusion. Christian Sex Loops, as a whole, displays nothing phat or clubby - Thine Eyes are more concerned with the environment of their beats, and the beats behind their environments. The production is a forest of exfoliating sonic fauna and a lot of this harkens to Cevin Key style reconstruction, but also draws its blood from Zoviet France, Severed Heads and Nurse With Wound. Each track is a journey, usually framed by timed parameters, but always surprising and damn interesting listen. (Elsa Teicher - Anodyne)
This CD is a combination of instrumental and vocal based tracks. In all honesty I didn't care much for the vocal stuff. I was listening to the CD with a friend and we were both taken a bit off guard by the singing. It just didn't seem to fit the mood of the CD. I would have been much happier with an all instrumental CD.
Tracks like Vaseline Machine and SeeSaw (amendment 1) are proof-positive of what Thine Eyes is capable of: rhythmic undertones layered with hypnotic but sparse use of melody, or the converse, hooky melodies that blend into carefully placed samples. I found myself listening to the CD a couple of times a day for about a week. Being a Doubting Thomas fan I was happy to hear something that I felt was comparable. To frequently I am subject to some kid with a keyboard who spits out "music on the cutting edge of technology" that sounds like a bad '80s song played on a Casio. Thine Eyes very definitely put those kids in their place, while giving them something to aspire to.
I appreciated the use of samples on this CD. Sampling technology was not abused, but embraced. The samples were placed intelligently. Samples were not used as a crutch to make the song interesting, but rather as an accent to the interesting song that already existed, sans samples.
All in all a great CD. Thine Eyes have set themselves up to become a staple of the underground and club oriented electro-industrial music scene. (Doug Lemmon - Noize Foundation)
Impressive all the more so because of that, really. This is highly conceptual fare, music deeply steeped in undercurrent and heavy thought. The use of stark melodies (and naked vocals, when there are vocals) adds the finishing touches to the bleak atmosphere.
One of the few notations in the liners is the question "What is a Christian Sex Loop?" Other than a nicely facetious title, I have no idea myself. Doesn't really matter. The music more than explains itself on its own terms.
Despite the aggressively excessive sounds used to create much of the music, this is a very accessible album. Thine Eyes has used the tools of the edge to craft a forward-looking disc which still has one foot in the present. One of the most creative electronic albums I've heard this year. (John Worley - Aiding & Abetting)
I have listened to it in all sorts of situations - at work, at home, in the car - and while it is pleasant and engaging as it is playing, at the end of 70 minutes not much has embedded itself in me. There are some nice tracks on here - as I am writing this The Celibate is running with dark synth lines, complex rhythms and sound effects and samples, Flick Flick is a soulful ballad with lines about Jesus and an early morning cigarette if I remember rightly.
Other tracks owe obvious debts to Depeche Mode and I was reminded of Severed Heads at times, there are also nods towards Drum'n'Bass. Interesting noises (backward voices on Exhaust fer instance), rhythms, samples, lines and Ambient soundscapes (House Parts) fill the disc, but don't cohere to my ears. (Ambience - Jeremy Keens)
Basically, Christian Sex Loops sounds like a runaway IDM train, with loads of dance-friendly breakbeats and lulling, infectious synths. As the trio puts it, the album features "hit music for romantic moods", and that isn't a bad description. Some tracks feature Tanner Volz's vocals, while others are instrumental. Some tracks are dancey, while others are spacey and thoughtful. Uncomplications, the first track, decides to go for the dancey end of the group's repertoire. Its intro, a gaudy, distorted bass sample, feigns entrance into a disappointing track and then morphs into a frenzied melee of breakbeat fury before hitting its dancey-yet-nonchalant showpiece. One of the best examples of the group's skill in composing truly intelligent dance music would be Vaseline Machine, as the Techno backbone of the track darts lightly around the plodding beat before incorporating it into the rhythm. The loud, abrasive, and energetic closing track, Is It All Red? brings closure to the album, summarizing everything from furious breakbeats to machine-gun percussion to harsh samples, and reiterating the best aspects of the album's sound.
Thine Eyes hasn't mastered just danciness, as a significant amount of the tracks will prove. Most of the tracks feature subtly depressing atmospheres, as a testament to the group's diversity. Flick Flick allows Tanner's mourning voice to overpower the chaotic beat, thus achieving a completely different emotional effect than if the song were instrumental. Kickin' Iams, though, IS an instrumental, and its sad Ambient undertones, just barely recognizable under the harsh, synthey atmosphere, gets much the same result. Even with that in mind, Manual comes as a complete surprise. Through the machine-gun phaser samples and overall in-your-face feeling, the song's regretful piano inflections are the only sounds hinting at something beneath the surface. Count (Amendments 3) doesn't have the emotional impact of other songs, but its overall Ambient, abstract atmosphere enjoyably breaks away from the album's dancey feeling. Even with all the IDM and Techno tracks on Christian Sex Loops, the true prizes are found within the less musical tracks.
My first impressions of this album have not changed much after multiple listens. I was struck down by the talent Thine Eyes has upon my first listen, and as I discover even more surprises within the songs my respect for them grows exponentially. I cannot find any musical flaws beyond the rare weak moments in a few tracks. Even the untreated vocals sound appealing, as Tanner breaks away from the cliched technique of distortion. All in all, the band has done a magnificent job on this album and should be commended for their perseverance in the face of previous adversity. It should go without saying that I highly recommend this album to any industrial fan; you'll like what you hear!
Go on over to Thine Eyes' official page to try some sound files, if you aren't fully convinced. I think you'll agree that this is a must-have! (Grinding Into Emptiness)
My favorite tracks were Warpaint, with it's Thine Eyes elements that I have grown to love; percolating filters, great vocal harmonies and relentless beat, and House Parts with it's stunning piano, sampled note snippets and great panning effects. Truth be know, I was literally moved to tears by this track. If you enjoyed Forma Tadre's Navigator, I would put this in the same league. (Paul Seegers - Industrial Nation)