In celebration of their recently-announced 20th anniversary reunion shows, post-hardcore vets Black Eyes have announced four archival albums and a zine coming out on Bandcamp on April 10 via their longtime label Dischord. The four archival recordings include S/T Demos, Cough Demos, Live in San Francisco, and Live in Amsterdam. The zine, "Speaking In Tongues: Black Eyes 2001-2004" was assembled by the band and explores their history and the DC community they came up in. It includes a download code for the four archival recordings as well. The description reads:

"Speaking In Tongues: Black Eyes 2001-2004” is a zine assembled by Black Eyes exploring the group’s history and the wider DC music community they operated within. It features an oral history of the band lovingly documented by Chris Richards (of the Washington Post), interviews by the band members with some of the groups they played with most frequently during their run, reflections from the artists who made the covers to the two albums, contributions from friends, archival photos and more.

Here's the zine's cover art:

Black Eyes Speaking In Tongues zine

The band shared descriptions, tracklists, and a few song streams from each archival release. Here they are:

Black Eyes, S/T Demos

S/T Demos

These recordings were done in preparation for our S/T album some time in the Summer of 2002. Ian had offered to work with us on a full length and wanted some demos of the songs as they stood. As you can hear, a number of these didn’t make the cut or got radically reworked (or recycled…the number of tracks with lyrics that ended up with wildly different music/songs is substantial). But it's interesting to hear how things evolved and where we were as a band such a short time before heading into the studio. Any songs that are on the S/T that weren’t recorded here were written after discussing these demos with Ian and deciding that we needed some new songs to go with the ones that made the cut. Regarding the songs with just numbers as titles: as a band we referred to our songs in chronological order while we sorted out lyrics and titles. Thus 1 was the first song, 2 the second, etc…This was how we referred to these songs and how we wrote them on our set lists. This can be seen/decoded in the liner notes of the S/T LP and on the cover of “Cough” as well. The tracks that didn’t make the cut are only known by their numbers, though we did keep a few with the numbers as the actual titles as well (Nine and Ten).

Recordings were made in Hugh’s studio in his parent’s basement and were engineered/mixed by Hugh with tape op help from Paul Jickling and Matt Vanek.

S/T Demos Tracklist
01 - 7
02 - Letter to Raoul Peck
03 - 11 (Deformative lyrics)
04 - King’s Dominion
05 - 5 (On the Sacred Side/Drums lyrics)
06 - Speaking in Tongues
07 - 3
08 - Ten
09 - Someone Has His Fingers Broken

Black Eyes, Cough Demos

Cough Demos

This session was done in the Summer of 2003 between our first full U.S. tour and our Fall U.S./European tours. These recordings were not originally intended as demos but were made as possible recordings for a split 12” we were planning with the band Need New Body from Philadelphia. They were another percussive and strange punk-adjacent art band who we had met and connected with when we played at MacRock in Fredericksburg, VA in the Spring of 2003. For one reason or another that record didn’t end up happening and these songs turned into the bulk of “Cough,” which we recorded in January of 2004. These recordings were done in our practice space (Daniel’s parents' basement) and were engineered and mixed by Hugh. It’s hard to recall if the instrumental tracks were purposefully done as instrumentals or if they were waiting for vocal overdubs (most likely). Either way it is interesting to hear them in a different form than what they became, and closer to how we would have played them live.

Cough Demos Tracklist
01 - False Positive
02 - Another Country
03 - Scrapes and Scratches
04 - Spring into Winter (instrumental)
05 - Spring into Winter
06 - Holy of Holies
07 - Drums (instrumental)

Black Eyes, Live in San Francisco

Live in San Francisco 5-23-2003

This is a rough and raucous live set from just about the midway point of our first full U.S. tour. We had already been playing very regularly live throughout 2003 and were “road tight” by 2 weeks into the tour. Songs were played at ferocious tempos with almost a telekinetic tightness. Even though we were touring shortly after the release of our first album, more than half of our sets were made up of songs that would later become “Cough.” We immediately integrated any new material into our sets often as soon as it was ready to be played live. This show took place in a short-lived, cramped storefront gallery on Valencia Street in the Mission.

Live in San Francisco Tracklist
01 - Yes I confess
02 - Scrapes and Scratches
03 - Speaking in Tongues
04 - Spring into Winter
05 - Eternal Life
06 - A Pack of Wolves
07 - No Sleep / Deformative
08 - Letter to Raoul Peck

Black Eyes, Live in Amsterdam

Live in Amsterdam 11-05-2003

This was the first show of our European tour, which started less than 2 weeks after the completion of our 7+ week North American tour. It was a live-on-the-radio recording session/show for 3VOOR12 with an interview component as well (sadly not archived). We spent our first day/evening in the Netherlands recovering from jet lag, adjusting to unheated squat life and traveling to Rotterdam to see Enon perform. This show took place the next night, when we were mostly fully recovered and ready to go and we hit the ground running with this energetic set. Also joining us on the bill that night was Cave In who was being tour managed by a former member of the DC band Scream who we chatted with about DC hardcore scene things over dinner (not sure if we asked about Dave Grohl but it would seem possible). Anyway it is nice to have such a well recorded live document of our road tightened set. Unfortunately there are a few digital glitches on the master of the recording, including one that cuts the end of Deformative short. Nonetheless, we’re happy to share this one.

Live in Amsterdam Tracklist
01 Cough Cough
02 Eternal Life
03 A Pack of Wolves
04 False Positive
05 Deformative
06 Holy of Holies
07 Commencement
08 Letter to Raoul Peck


Black Eyes have also confirmed openers for their reunion shows. They'll be joined by Blacks' Myths (the duo of Irreversible Entanglements member Luke Stewart and drummer Warren G. "Trae" Crudup III) on all three shows, plus Ecstatic International in DC, Trophy Hunt in Brooklyn, and co-headliners Pissed Jeans in Philly.

Black Eyes -- 2023 Tour Dates
4.7 - DC @ Black Cat
4.8 - Brooklyn @ Market Hotel
4.9 - Philly @ First Unitarian Church

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