Get our free newsletter
From August 2001 until their breakup in 2004, Black Eyes anticipated the influence of Afro-pop on indie rock, believed in the idea that one drummer is not enough, knew that there’s a desire to hear a white man bear down hard on a saxophone and channel Albert Ayler, argued that there’s merit to the idea of guitars being scratched instead of strummed, and sold audiences on the notion that singers are best when blessed with a chorus of yelping. They took apart the D.C. sound with a hacksaw, then reassembled bits of it with duct tape and sweaty tube socks. Their recorded product made for incredibly difficult listening, yet their live shows were exuberant stunners. Black Eyes left the stage in their prime, with more than a few amazing songs left in them.