“Searching” is the second album by South African prog/psych band The Third Eye, originally released in 1969. Their catalog has been reissued officially by Shadoks, with their other two albums “Brother“ and “Awakening” reviewed previously here at Foxy Digitalis by Mike Griffin and Jeff Penczak, respectively. I was extremely excited to give this disc a spin, as I am a sucker for even mediocre sixties music; psych, sunshine pop, folk, basically anything from cheesy to heavy and all points in between. My assessment of “Searching” leans towards Mike’s; lead singer Maurice Saul is way too overwrought and melodramatic (Jeff mentions this as well). The band’s musicianship is solid organ-fueled, fuzzed-up guitar psychedelic rock. The arrangements are fairly typical given the time frame and style of music. The 14-minute album centerpiece “Awakening” is a decent jammer, but any time Saul opens his mouth you want him to immediately shut it, especially near the end, where his histrionics are simply too excruciating.
The album does have its positive qualities. Mike Selby plays a tight and supple lead guitar and the song named after him, “Selby’s Hospitality” is a highlight. A wiry surf-meets-prog instrumental with nice drumming and a strange singing-in-the-bathtub ending, it unfortunately clocks in at just over 2 minutes. The next track “Retain Your Half-Ticket”, is in a poppier vein with nice backing vocals and organ from Mike’s sister Dawn. Maurice Saul’s singing is most palatable here, so that helps as well. “Stagemakers” rocks out pretty damn good, but again, the voice cracking during the quieter sections drags a decent song down a notch. Every track here is composed by Saul, so maybe they tackle covers decently (again see previous reviews). If you can get past the over-the-top lyrics and vocals, underneath there lies a good instrumental psych band. 6/10 -- Kirk Van Husen (14 April, 2010)