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Tom Orsi


In Chicago, Tom Orsi packed up his progressive rock alias Pentwater, spat out punk’s rebellion, and opted for another “new” sound dawning in the early 80s. The problem, as Orsi put it, was “Will you want to write rock after writing symphonies?” His own interest in simpler rock lead him to take vocal and keyboard duties for Eyz. During the “slow fall” of 1980, Orsi and Eyz used Orsi’s own Double Standard Studios for the making of the 4-song 1981 7” EP Tom Orsi, much of it featuring Orsi writing, performing, and recording everything. Bassist Mike Mathy and Orsi then took all of a minute to pen the soaring, questioning Cheap Trick-isms of “Where Are You Now.”

After shopping demos in LA, Eyz peeled back into gigging the tri-state area without restraint. Original material on their live setlist that had recently taken up just a third of the page soon covered three quarters of it. Plus they now wielded killer three-part harmonies belted out by Orsi, Mathy, and Lynset. In 1983, Eyz got its own 45, a two-tracker featuring the mildly creepy all-caps Eyz logo, as well as “Stop Fooling Around” and “Midnight Girls.” After kicking off with bright glam guitar licks, the latter’s lyric takes a dim view of gig-haunting females and their wares, couching it all in weary hard rock, not far removed from what the Poisons of the world did with that sound and a more upbeat enthusiasm for cheap sex, not to mention heavy does of eyeshadow. Eyz didn’t last long enough to get quite that dolled up.


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