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Eisley Shows Promise

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 19, 2005 7:26PM

We hate to say it but Chicagoist walked away largely unimpressed by last night’s Eisley performance. The show was overly long and the musical metronome seemed stuck in second gear. The songs were pleasant but largely faceless and the whole experience was pretty generic.

2005_08_eisley_setlist.jpgOkay, we got that out of the way. Lest you think our critical bones are ground deep with sulfuric disdain we would like to point out a few things that we think made the evening worthwhile. First off, the kids in Eisley are adorable. The sisters DuPree, especially the mini-Morticia Adams-like Stacey and the rock and/or rolling Sherri, knew how to keep a crowd engaged and the boys looked like they’re filled with the guilty pleasure of skipping out of class early to hide out in a smoky club. Our personal fave was eldest sister Chauntelle who was having such a blast that she sang along to every tune even though she was rarely within ten feet of a microphone. We find that sort of enthusiasm rather infectious. While we do believe the songs are rather pedestrian the same cannot be said for the singing. Voices related by blood melt together in a sonically unique way and when those voices are extraordinary to begin with the end result is eerily beautiful. Come to think of it, we think that phrase, “eerily beautiful,” may just be what Eisley is ultimately striving for. The group is obviously trying to create a mood of dusky abandon through their live sets but they don’t yet have the material to really pull it off. Moments early in the set like “Telescope Eyes” and later on with “Marvelous Things” hinted at the promise the group contains but then they would pull out something dopey like “Golly Sandra” and just shoot the whole mood to hell.

None of these things seemed to matter to the crowd at Double Door last night since the room was packed full of adoring and appreciative fans who knew every word to every song. And you know what? We think that’s what ultimately matters. We also think that for all of Eisley’s shortcomings we’re going to have to keep closer tabs on them because we believe that it’s only a matter of time before they finally grow into their talent.