The Shy Eyes is the musical project of Joe Regan, a 20-year-old from County Longford, Ireland who recently released his debut EP entitled The Big Thing. He wrote everything on the EP along with playing all the instruments and engineering it himself. Regan writes pop/punk rock songs somewhere between Greenday and Weezer. He can write a catchy tune as there isn't a dud among the four tracks.
The production is impressive for DIY basement style but still is a couple of degrees shy of sounding like a professional product. It sounds over-compressed with too much digital distortion occurring but other than a couple of other minor issues Regan did an impressive job engineering the album.
The EP starts with arguably the best song on the album, which is the title track “The Big Thing.” I enjoyed the handclaps and vocal harmonies that contrasted against the distorted guitars. The chorus is infectious as he sings “So many sounds on so many stations / Its hard to find what makes you the big thing / The big thing across so many nations / What makes you feel like a king.” Regan flexes his muscles a bit during the song when he brings an impressive guitar solo to your attention. It’s a catchy song that reminded me of Fountains of Wayne.
“Cruise Control” deals with rejection as Regan sings “Pick up the phone / I’m all alone / I need you here by my side / Cause all my bones / They're sounding tones / Full of angst, love and worry”. Despite the subject the song is rather upbeat and creates a nicely executed juxtaposition. He rocks out on “Youth” but the music sounds a bit squashed on this one. Regan closes with “Fading,” which is as good a way as any to end the album. It’s a simple pop/punk song with a catchy verse and even catchier chorus.
Regan is a good songwriter. He has a knack for writing pop songs and has an attractive singing style. There is still room for improvement – it’s nice that he's only 20-years-old.
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