8. Eyelids

2015 Best New Band Poll Finalist

Top 10: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4/5 | 4/5 (tie) | 6/7 | 6/7 (tie) | 9/10  | 9/10 (tie)


POINTS: 34.5

FORMED: 2013.

SOUNDS LIKE: Pacific Northwest indie rock steeped in Southern California psychedelia, with all of the vibes and none of the lethargy.

Chris Slusarenko has lost his train of thought. 

“I had a really good point,” says Eyelids’ singer-guitarist, “and it just flew out my skull because of my age.” 

Co-frontman John Moen steps in: “Weren’t you going to say that we both do boatloads of acid?” 

"More like boatloads of antacid," Slusarenko replies.

That might not have been his actual point, but that exchange says a lot of what you need to know about Eyelids. First, the members of the band—which also includes guitarist Jonathan Drews, bassist Jim Talstra and drummer Paulie Pulvirenti—are indeed older than the others on this list. Each musician has a paper trail of ticket stubs, liner notes and posters attesting to past engagements with names like Stephen Malkmus, Guided by Voices, Peter Buck, Elliott Smith, and the Decemberists.

It is also true that Eyelids is partial to psychedelics, at least of the musical variety. Specifically, Slusarenko and Moen are partial to the Paisley Underground scene, which resurrected the sound of the '60s in 1980s Los Angeles. 

"Those bands were psychedelic, but they weren't psychedelic with a capital P," Slusarenko says. "They wrote pretty songs that rocked. That's what we want to do."

So far, Eyelids have written plenty. In a short time, the band has amassed a tower of vinyl: two 7-inch singles, a Record Store Day release, a full-length album and a new self-titled EP. That might seem like a frantic pace for a band that's only 2 years old, but in the case of Eyelids, much has been levied for a long time. Slusarenko and Moen first met in Portland in their late teens, playing with nearly everyone except for each other. The idea was always to collaborate at some point, but both were busy with behemoth bands—Moen as the drummer for the Decemberists (a post he still holds), Slusarenko as a bassist for Guided by Voices. 

It took them until their mid-40s finally to make good on that promise. But if you ask them, the "boatloads of antacid" years are the best years.


Portland's Best New Band Poll Winners 

Best New Band 2015  

Finalists: No. 2 | No. 3 | No. 4/5 | No. 4/5 (tied) | No. 6/7 
No. 6/7 (tied) | No. 8 No. 9/10  | No. 9/10 (tied)

SEE IT: Willamette Week’s Best New Band Showcase, featuring Divers, The Domestics and Máscaras, is Friday, May 15, at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. 9 pm. Free. 21 and up.

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