A coiffed and quite well known bloke from Sheffield recently said that Rock’n’Roll – though it will never die, could “sink back into the swamp from time to time.” British guitar music may have been marginalised in recent years, but there is arguably reason to believe that there is a stirring in said swamp. If any band is worth keeping your eye on for this long awaited album then it is a band from another Yorkshire city called Eagulls.
Eagulls released their self-titled debut album on the 4th of this month via a staggering comeback from their first blunder into the public eye. They wrote a fairly obnoxious open letter about the state of the music industry. This entertaining read that included phrases such as “beach bands sucking each other’s dicks” has been replaced by a picture of some bloke’s posterior with eyeballs drawn on it. The message is interchangeable with this new image, and both with all well-known Punk sentiments. Regardless of what the band intended with their letter, it has been dissected and stretched out of shaped by so many music journalists that it has paradoxically become a successful publicity stunt that is to thank for much of the attention they have received since.
They also released their album as a stream on Pitchfork a week before its release – further suggestive of an attention-seeking stunt with the press. However, they still might not be the sexiest answer to your prayers. In fact, this Leeds based trio look as though they could work at your local Comet, though having swagger by the truck load. The album roars and bellows from start to finish, against a backdrop that is an angry sound with a nevertheless endless bank of perfect hooks and the kind of chorus that is so powerful it feels like it’s wrapping around your spine. It has shades of Goth and grunge, but is resolutely punk in its core. The band has a refreshing take on dealing with the media and their ‘look’. Trying to escape the band ‘look’ isn’t new, and when Savages did we lapped it up, but really our sense of reality was still suspended in the fact that every member of Savages is cripplingly beautiful. Eagulls’? Less so, and we can all nod our heads and smile because this guy’s made it on to Letterman and he’s wearing etnies and his mum’s cardigan. Looking like you attend a youth centre doesn’t even seem to be a stance for this guitarist. He just really doesn’t give an shit. This is perhaps slightly overstated because George Mitchell radiates sex appeal, but in interview he is much more interested in persuading audiences “to listen to some proper music.”
The sound is paramount, and it’s heart-breaking how novel that is. The truth is, even if Eagulls had appeared three years ago, it is doubtful they would have ever broken through the margins of the British music industry. They are now set to ‘break’ America in 2014, while on both sides of the pond we are swooning over the gritty, raw temper of ‘Tough Luck’. You are implored to seek out any single from the album, but the experience of listening to it as a whole body of work is central. Each track flows into the next in an extremely satisfying way.