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D.C.’s Black Eyes was one of those bands where you ended up collecting every song. The quintet didn’t record a lot of them, for one thing—fewer than 30 in the three years it existed. That, and the group’s chaotic, genre-hopping, paranoid post-hardcore was—and remains—utterly singular.
You can get a small sense of how that sound emerged at Hugh McElroy‘s Ruffian Records Web site, which recently posted some free MP3s from two of McElroy’s pre-Black Eyes projects, A.K.A. Harlot #1 and Exaspirin, as well as a 1996 session McElroy engineered for New York art punk outfit the Vestpocket Psalm. While you’re there, you can also grab (for free) every song that Horses—McElroy’s 2004 band with Black Eyes members Dan Caldas and Mike Kanin—ever recorded, as well as Hume‘s Wyfe EP.
Ruffian also announced a pair of upcoming joint releases with Sockets Records: Phosphenes, the debut full-length by aggro post-rockers Imperial China, and a compilation LP featuring local bands. In an e-mail, McElroy wrote that the labels are hoping to release the compilation in the spring.