Some artists could be accused of spending more time chasing column inches than writing decent material. In the year leading up to the release of their self-titled debut, Eagulls have generated a heap of media attention without breaking stride, whether from insulting their peers with an infamous open letter or being raided by police over the mistaken identity of a pig’s brain. To consider these as PR stunts, though, couldn’t be further from the truth; these acts are simply a by-product of the same cynical attitude that Eagulls saturate their music with.
The cavernous drums and jangly, reverb drenched guitars are straight-up early 90’s post-punk. Sonically, it could be mistaken for using the same recording techniques and fx-chain as those employed on Made Of Stone, except in this case they’ve broken into the studio while The Stone Roses weren’t there and turned all the amps up to 11.
A throbbing, throaty bass chug is ever present, driving the music forward with a drum-locked groove. The performance is tight but natural, never sounding edited or over-produced. Instead it’s like they’re playing in an abandoned warehouse, the drums pounding a few metres away and George Mitchell staring you out while he spews his bitter lyrics. He shouts throughout the entire 10 tracks, but it’s not entirely angry – his delivery has an edge of catharsis, like someone so completely fed up with the world he desperately needs to vent his dissatisfaction. This isn’t surprising when you consider the band write during after-work sessions.
The songwriting is efficient and direct – as with all the great punk and hardcore records, this spartan approach allows for the fierce attitude and emotion to be conveyed through the band’s performance, rather than through melodic and harmonic intricacies. The album doesn’t ever stray far from this refined compositional style, sticking to it closely in order to hammer home a point – and that point is a big ‘fuck you’ to society. Frankly, this is one of the most stirring albums I’ve listened to for a long time.
Buy: Eagulls – Eagulls
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