Mental Anguish - "Eyeballs Glazed Over"
(Mystery Hearsay 2000, CDR, originally released on cassette 1989)
From Aural Innovations #13 (October 2000)
With the exception of help on one track, Eyeballs Glazed Over is a Chris Phinney solo effort. The music is subtle, minimalist in spots, and develops very slowly. The longest tracks, at 17 and 30 minutes respectively, were the ones that didn't really work for me. "Last Glimpse Of Dawn" features a repeating synth pattern accompanied by a faint background drone. Very much on the minimalist side, it changes very little across over its 17-minute length and I found it hard to give the track my attention throughout. "Eyeballs Glazed Over" is similar, but though it has a few more interesting sounds I was having trouble keeping up with this one too.
Moving on to more engaging tunes, "The Tears They Are A Falling" has far more happening in its 4-minutes than on the much longer tracks. There's lots of cool mechanical space electronics and multiple competing patterns. The music doesn't really develop much but that doesn't seem to be the idea. Rather, a handful of ideas are laid out on a palette and it works well within the confines of what for this listener is an adequate timeframe. "Thick As Thieves" is similar, but has more of a dreamy space quality. "Allure Ov Thee Ancients" is a duo effort with Roger Moneymaker accompanying Phinney on synths. A slow, distant "last mile" march sets the pace while shooting synths and various other textures and patterns develop very slowly. Percussion is integral to the piece and there's a clear sense of rhythm, however slow it may be. Probably the most purely spacey piece on the disc. It took me a few listens but I really warmed up to this tune. I felt like I was moving along with the music more than on the much longer tracks. My favorite, though as a whole this disc grabbed me less than much of Phinney's other works.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz