Review Summary: "I can't find my end!"
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Eagulls live at a small, sweaty venue. When they kicked off their set it was like being forced back into the ‘80s, with the frontman’s persona resembling Ian Curtis, and the band’s punk-rock sound being ever-present, the music itself felt like it was forcing me back into a world that seemed more a documentary of The Misfits than a gig in Nottingham.
Although their sound is hardly anything ground-breaking, what Eagulls do best is write fantastic hooks, coupled with a classic punk-driven energy. There’s a fantastic coalition between psychedelic, whirring (and often quite washy) guitars and a tight rhythm section, with the opener Nerve Endings, which starts with a heavily phased guitar before going into a simple, driving bass riff, being an instant charmer. The hook of I can’t find my end, with George Mitchell’s vocals easily pushing through the mix, create a sound that works incredibly well.
The guitars splice nicely, the drums and bass lock tightly, and the overall production is fantastic. The album may be about five-minutes too long, but every song still deserves its place. Although it doesn’t suffer from repeated-song structures, the lack of a slow point in the album may cause some listeners to see Eagulls as being repetitive. But hey, this is post-punk, and Eagulls sound very safe in their sound, and every song carries its own energy.
The choruses aren't always louder than the verses, but the hooks always ring the loudest. The melodic interests of the hooks (Amber Vains, Possesed) are worthy of screaming to your friends, and the lyrics (which according to NME are the band trying to say ‘we’re f***ed…’ edgy…) are tasty, with a punk-rock attitude that screams more ‘you’re an arse’ rather than ‘we’re f***ed’.
Highlights reign with tracks such as Fester / Blister (the last half a minute featuring a fast paced, massive ending) and Opaque (which would, in my opinion, be a nice ending to the album) are unique little tracks that show Eagulls finding their true grounding of their sound. Yellow Eyes is also an instant highlight, with a big chorus of “I can’t see it, can’t hear it, can't feel it!” and Tough Luck featuring one of the happiest riffs of the album.
Eagulls’ self-titled debut is nothing short of exciting. It’s got great hooks, plenty of melodic interest, and solid amounts of drive, making it something definitely worth checking out. Although it may lack anything genre-pushing, what it does it does very well indeed. The fall backs of a slightly too-long length, and what to some may be a too familiar sound, are easy to look past. The music itself is exciting, and easy to get enticed by, and, for a quick adrenaline rush to the head, look no further than this.