Black Eyes


In the late ’90s and early 2000s, as Dischord’s foundational late-’80s acts were still going strong, a new crop of bands helped to revitalize the D.C. scene. Along with Q and Not U, El Guapo (later known as Supersystem) and Medications (featuring former members of the thrilling, slightly earlier Dischord act Faraquet), Black Eyes became a standout of the label’s 21st-century roster. As heard on their self-titled debut, they drew fruitfully on the local underground but reached back even further to New York’s late ’70s No Wave and punk-funk vanguard, yielding a humid, insistent din that sounded both danceable and feral. Standout track “A Pack of Wolves” lives up to its name, featuring two basses and two drummers laying down a hectic pulse as vocalists Hugh McElroy and Daniel Martin-McCormick trade manic yelps on top. Elsewhere, “On the Sacred Side” sounds like skeletal industrial, while instrumental track “Nine” conjures images of a wild basement-show jam-out.

Hank Shteamer