Year of Release: 1966
Cult mod band The Eyes were so obviously indebted to The Who that pointing out the fact feels as pointless as emphasising a series of exclamation marks with a bright yellow highlighting pen. Not only did they take the sheer aggression and throttle of Shepherd's Bush's finest, there are also elements of Daltrey's vocal stylings throughout their work as well. Where they seemed to differ was their visual image, which was like something out of a Clockwork Orange styled parallel universe - they dressed in boldly striped rugby tops and printed large eyes across the middle of them, rather than opting for the usual suited and booted fare. They were also known to don bright pink parka jackets with tyre tracks across their backs. No mods dressed like this, anywhere. But perhaps somewhere out there, in a dimension we are not conscious of, some did...
Their first single "When The Night Falls" was chronicled on the "Nuggets II" box set alongside its B-side "I'm Rowed Out", but neither moment is really up there with the band's finest. This release is, so far as I'm concerned, one of the best things they did. Impressive enough is the Everly Brothers cover on the A-side, which takes the squabbling duo's chirpy piece of pop about breaking and entering and fills it with the sheer menace it always deserved. The B-side "You're Too Much", however, is one of the best pieces of proto-punk there is, as the band screech monosyllabically about a very distracting lady. "You're too much/ oh you know you are babe!" they holler. "Yeah, I said yeah/ I SAID YEAH!" they emphasise. Whilst this is going on to no obvious conclusion, a sharp, buzzing, ear-scarring wall of guitar noise takes place behind, led by an exceptionally dumb, rudimentary plectrum-plucked riff. When I edited the audio for this, my program showed me an almost smooth block of noise on screen rather than the usual peaks, troughs and spikes. It's the sound of a frothing great rock tantrum where the scream continues from point A to point B unabated. That's a bloody good thing, in case you were in any doubt.
Led by Terry Nolder, The Eyes were always a strong draw on the live circuit in their native London, but none of their singles charted. Mercury Records rapidly lost patience with them, and insisted that they cover the Beatles song "Good Day Sunshine" for their fourth and final single. When even falling back on the old trick of taking a Fab Four album track and slamming it on seven inches of vinyl failed to create any convincing returns, they were dropped, and split up in 1967. No official album was ever released, but as an odd footnote they did release a budget-price album filled with Rolling Stones covers under the name of The Pupils. This was really designed for cheapskate visitors to Woolworths rather than their fans, who have remained albumless to this day. Still, the singles we do have knock the 45rpm efforts of the vast majority of sixties acts into touch, so it's perhaps unreasonable to complain too much.