The brainchild of Barrie, Ontario, singer-songwriter Neil Crowe, EyesWide delivers exactly what Crowe says it will on their 2012 EP A Little More A Little Less: Catchy, upbeat, driving acoustic rock.
Originally slated to be a full-length release, this five-song teaser boasts well-crafted and approachable tracks, yet not without a hint of darkness. Musically strong, well-produced, and lyrically diverse and perceptive, A Little More A Little Less highlights Crowe as a gifted songwriter, musician, and vocalist.
The EP’s highlight, “Day Waster”, is a driving rocker with an intense rhythm and dark vibe that aptly compares to Radiohead’s “Jigsaws Falling Into Place”. Crow’s smooth, breathy delivery offers a nice counter to the urgency of the rhythm as he sings about having the time to waste the day because his job is “turning on everyone at night”.
Crowe cites several influences behind his music, including the Dave Matthews Band, whose inspiration is subtly evident on tracks like “E-Dub”, “My Songs” and “Shadows”. “E-Dub”, an upbeat rocker, finds Crowe rationalizing ending a relationship, and features a sweet flamenco-tinged guitar solo. “My Songs” bounces along to a similar beat as “E-Dub” — think Eagle Eye Cherry’s “Save Tonight” — and finds Crowe longing to simply just play his songs and hoping you’ll sing along, through the good and bad. “Shadows” is highlighted by a Dave Matthews-esque guitar riff and a rhythm that, like all EyesWide songs, will get your head bopping.
The EP’s opener, “Sleeping in the Kitchen”, offers a departure in style from the other four tracks. Driven by a Cowpunk-style shuffle, “Sleeping in the Kitchen” leans more to the Country end of the folk spectrum.