Quartered - Eyes and Ears - (8/10)
Published on October 29, 2014
Quartered sound like the Deftones. Like, a lot. To the point that if, their brand new EP, Eyes and Ears, were released as the next Deftones album few would be the wiser. They also wouldn’t be at all dissatisfied, because as it happens, Eyes and Ears is one hell of a Deftones record.
As for exactly which parts of the Deftones’ diverse discography Eyes and Ears particularly emulates, well, it sounds like the cross-section of 2006’s oft-misunderstood and severely underrated Saturday Night Wrist and their most recent and most-triumphant release, Koi No Yokan (2012). This is to say that Eyes and Ears exists on the softer, more moody side of things – with a boosted post-hardcore influence to boot – but there’s a substantial flare of aggression littered in between enough to keep things interesting.
The Deftones influence really is unshakable however, to the degree that specific examples are invoked, rather than just the general sense concocted by Greggor Williams’ shared vocal similarities with Chino Moreno and Quartered’s overall alt-metal vibe. Opener and album highlight, “Blink Blink Flash,” for instance mirrors “Street Carp” with dashes of the explosive “Hexagram;” otherwise, Eyes and Ears uses Saturday Night Wrist as a jumping-off-point to such a degree that to list every instance here would be redundant.
The moments that do depart from the Deftones’ overbearing influence only do so to invoke other bands that themselves boast a hefty Deftones-induced component. The other major, influential player is Underoath, whose ethos clearly informs traks like “Call Me Crazy,” while there’re moment that clearly take their keys from the lighter side of Architects, with dashes of a more subdued Norma Jean, and “Violent Love,” which kicks off with a very modern-Dillinger Escape Plan sounding jolt.
Album-closer, “Ricochet” pulls away from the Deftones influence the most of any of the tracks – leaning more in the mellow Norma-Jean way of things – and may prove an early indication of Quartered’s more individual sound. As it stands, Eyes and Ears is inescapably the sum-total of its influences, yet the quality of its output distinctly marks it out as nothing short of a bonafied success.
For fans of:
Deftones, Underoath, Norma Jean