First appeared on IGGY: March 01, 2011
Brooklyn’s Xray Eyeballs is a solo project of Golden Triangle’s O. J. San Felipe that got out of hand. Somehow it has grown into a full-on garage rock quintet that splices derelict pop hooks from the ’60s with shoddy new wave hooks from the ’80s and galvanizes them with keyboardist Rop Vazquez’s weirdo synth, samples, and theremin. The resulting sound is a strange, noisy darkwave hybrid that’s much more addictive than it should be.
San Felipe says his only goal is to write memorable, hummable pop songs, and he succeeds. Xray Eyeballs’s reward for that is all that any decent band could ever ask for: The weird kids show up and actually dance at their shows. And you know that just doesn’t happen very often in New York. The rumbling single, “Crystal,” off their debut Not Nothing, is a Beach Boys-on-bad-drugs kind of joint that started out as a song about crystal meth but turned into a break-up song — which tells you a lot about where the members’s heads are at.