Review: Collide – These Eyes Before

Softsynth is a big fan of Collide, particularly singer KaRIN, also enjoying spin-off with Curve’s Dean Garcia, The Secret Meeting. The difficulty can be in the band’s inconsistent output. Their last album, last year’s Two Headed Monster was fantastic, playing on all the bands strengths, KaRIN’s soaring, powerful voice, crunching guitars, lush synth washes – it worked beautifully.

This year they bring us a collection of sometimes-eccentric covers ranging from Depeche Mode, to Pink Floyd, to Radiohead, to Fleetwood Mack, to David Bowie. Does it work? Not consistently enough. Much of it feels so random. Their version of “Nights in White Satin” or “Rock On” are offputtingly strange and jarring. “I Feel You” and the Beatles’ “Come Together” just feel ordinary bringing nothing new to the originals. The whole thing feels self-indulgent and thrown together and considering how good this band can be it’s all just weird.

That said, when the band pick songs that lend themselves to the inherent qualities of Collide the mesh works nicely. Particularly on two tracks: Radiohead’s classic, “Creep” (which every alternative band in the world seems to be covering now) which they slow down and turn into a gorgeous, yearning classic Collide song and Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”. The latter works so well it feels like its inclusion was a no-brainer. The original was a lushly drawn, multi-layered, thick novel of a song, exactly in Collide’s wheelhouse. They take what was great about the original and made it their own. It’s a standut track and the best version beyond the original we’ve heard.

Download those two tracks, skip the rest and wait patiently for the next album of original material where they can shine again working from tracks constructed to their exacting standards and playing to their many strengths.

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