Eyes Set To Kill
Once you move past the cuteness factor of Eyes Set To Kill—two sisters lead this Phoenix-based rock band—it becomes apparent that the group still have a lot of growing up to do. ESTK’s fourth album is a step in the right direction in their evolution, with a full-bodied sound courtesy of producer Andrew Wade (A Day To Remember, the Word Alive) and songs that are more focused than the somewhat chaotic, scattershot material on their previous albums. But the first major problem on White Lotus is its pacing: Five of the first six songs are rockers, and the last four songs are acoustic numbers (including two covers), so it's hard to get into the flow. And without really belaboring it, the band's covers of Hole's “Doll Parts” and Nirvana's “Polly,” sung by guitarist/vocalist Alexia Rodriguez in an effort to pay tribute to the ’90s tunes the band members grew up on, are truly awful. We're talking nails-on-chalkboard, scramble-to-hit-the-stop-button awful.
Another problem with White Lotus—and really, with the band as a whole—is the distinct lack of personality. Too many bands sound exactly like this: There’s the soaring vocals counteracted with bad-cop interrogation, the glossy sheen of processed riffs and the studio trickery we can hear on any album by any band with a generic name. It all runs together. Which is too bad, because the first couple songs on White Lotus could have been a good springboard to a pretty epic album—”Harsh” specifically is a decent leadoff track around which to center a strong album. Instead, we get a few songs with promise and questionable acoustic tracks. We're not in the business of marketing music, but it seems like this should have been released as two EPs, preferably the acoustic one being a free download so no one felt the sting of paying out of pocket for the weak acoustic numbers