Hey, kids, how'd you like to know how brand-new Orange, California quartet Eye Alaska came up with its name? Well, according to singer-guitarist Brandon Wronski: "'Alaska' is the Aleutian word for 'that which the sea breaks against.' 'Eye' means that you're looking to those upon whom the sea breaks. It represented us as people who have dealt with trials and problems in life, as people who have felt our own oceans breaking against us." Hmm . . . I suppose such pretentious twaddle is tolerable when you're making the kind of interesting, melodically appealing indie rock that Eye Alaska is peddling. In photos, the band favors both ascots and Fall Out Boy hairdos, and their tunes similarly straddle the line between refined pop and emo-rock — mannered piano lines and strings rub against dramatically crooned vocals, the occasionally chewy guitar line, and soaring choruses. On debut EP Yellow & Elephant, the fellas even indulge in some Paul Young-ish R&B/New Romantics-inflected smooth-pop, and sometimes get all chamber-poppy in ways that actually feel organic and well-considered, as opposed to some trend-happy producer hitting the "chamber pop" button in ProTools. If Eye Alaska can re-create the same sound and spirit onstage, all the breaking oceans in the world couldn't ruin your good time.
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