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Eyes of Tomorrow – Settle For More

Eyes of Tomorrow
Settle For More
by Will Travers at 11 December 2020, 7:33 AM

Ruhr-based German punk rockers EYES OF TOMORROW explode onto the hardcore scene with their debut record, paying respectful nods to the finest acts in the tradition whilst also justifying themselves with a sound that spits genuine rage and fury at real-world scepticism, injustice and horror.

“Did punk ever really pose a material threat to the status-quo?” is a question that will, I think, forever cause disagreement and frustration between those relative few who remain committed to the punk ethos and those who look at it with tired and cynical eyes. I regret I don’t claim to have any kind of definitive answer to this question, but I bring it up as background for this review.

I confess I always leaned more towards American than British punk – something about the raw rage of groups like BLACK FLAG and the less than subtle politics of DEAD KENNEDYS appealed to me: it’s blunt and to the point. EYES OF TOMORROW certainly meet that condition. In true punk style, we have a short but sweet (just over twenty-three-minute) album of eleven brief songs that come at us hard and fast like a relentless beating!

“Gone for Good” opens, performing the function of first song well: we have an exact idea of what we’re in for. Crunchy guitars, throaty bass, the classic punk drumming, harsh vocal snarls backed by shouts from bandmates. “State of Mind” picks up the tempo considerable, which continues with “Settle for More”, wherein we get plenty of gang shouts backing up Mirko’s shrieks. Solidarity is the lyrical content here, which looms particularly large in our age of hyper-individualism.

“Blinded by Greed” feels like a real highlight. The urgency of chorus belter “Wake the fuck up!” rings very true among the lyrical themes of corruption and greed. This is exactly what good punk should do: grab you by the scruff of the neck and rub your nose in the mess we’ve all made! “World of Lies” speaks directly to our very contemporary issue of information literacy and trying to figure out just what is going on – in a world of mass media, fake news, and alternative facts (a term that always makes me feel dirty when I say it) this is no mean feat. Again, we are challenged by direct questions shouted in our direction: “Who do you trust? Who do you believe?”. A more pressing and urgent question than it first appears! “Hold On” challenges us to persevere in the face of adversity. This message rings very true for our troubled times – these guys really have their fingers on the pulse of contemporary social and political life!

“Take My Life” issues forth a challenge to all of us to live our lives to the full, and not fill them with distraction. This is something else that feels very current and a real 21st Century problem. It reminds me of the words attributed (take with a grain of salt!) to William Wallace: “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” “Masses of Despair” is a short but effective confrontation of our ultimate mortality: it doesn’t get much more blunt than “We’re all dying! We’re all dying!” “Hate, Lies and Violence” rails against extremism and hatred in language that is, by this point, expectedly unsubtle.

“My PMA” (PMA standing here, I think, for positive mental attitude) reads as a scathing critique of the self-help industry’s triteness in the face of real hardship and genuine social ill. This speaks to me on a deep level, I’ve always been suspicious of the ‘self-help’ section in bookshops and I can never quite shake the stench of charlatanry that emanates from therein! “Things We Need” closes the album by forcing us to think hard about what we actually need to live and to thrive. As with many of the themes explored by these guys, I often try to and separate what I really do need from the extra ‘stuff’ that makes up so much of our lives.

This album does what good punk (in my opinion) should: forces us to confront uncomfortable aspects of our contemporary condition. This kind of social commentary can be found in many other places in the rock and metal world, but the form varies from place to place. Punk’s preferred method of delivery is an ice-cold bucket of water to the face. This demands your attention and earns it well: go forth and thrash like a maniac!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Gone for Good
2. State of Mind
3. Settle for More
4. Blinded by Greed
5. World of Lies
6. Hold On
7. Take My Life
8. Masses of Despair
9. Hate, Lies and Violence
10. My PMA
11. Things we Need
Lineup:
Chris – Bass
Adam – Drums
Dom – Guitar
Mirko – Vocals
Record Label: Swell Creek Records
     


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