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Eagulls - Ullages

  • Published in Albums

Eagulls are not a band to rest on their laurels and give their audience the music they expect. The dark, brooding post punk which characterised their first album was a way removed from the more hook-laden songs of their first EP, eschewing anthemic choruses (with some notable exceptions) for the angular, paranoid bursts of sound which had threatened on their opening salvo more than been pushed to the fore. Similarly, Ullages (an anagram of the band’s name, which is very slightly more adventurous than both the self-titled EP and self-titled full length) is a step further in the band’s evolution than the previous release. While some artists are content to find their furrow and plough it, Eagulls give the sense of a sound in continuous development.

Ullages is a lush soundscape of biting guitars, chugging, Joy Division-esque rhythm and singer George Mitchell’s unique voice, cut with just the right amount of darkness and heaviness to remind you of who you are listening too. The album chugs onwards, never getting out of second gear tempo-wise but never falling into sounding lazy or slow; something due, no doubt, to the force which lies behind every guitar stroke, every drum beat, every strangled note which is dragged from vocal chords like a hanged man to the gallows. The album is introduced by the hypnotic guitar riff of ‘Heads or Tails’, a song which brings to mind The Smiths - both bands’ sounds are undeniably birthed in the post-industrial north, so comparisons are bound to arise. This is no nostalgia project though; despite obvious ‘80s post punk and new wave influences having risen to the fore with this album, the band’s wide range of tastes still creep in.

‘My Life in Rewind’ might sound like the soundtrack to a first train comedown from Manchester to Leeds (in the best possible way), but the instrumental ‘Harpstrings’ sounds like something Ennio Morricone would compose if he’d ever had to write music for a scene in which a serial killer loses his mind on LSD in the desert. This morphs into the woozy tramadol melodies of ‘Velvet’ which, along with ‘Psalms’, holds an incredible amount of energy within an on-the-surface slowed down, reflective pace; a far cry from their earlier, higher velocity output. ‘Skipping’ in particular gives the impression of the rhythm section as a barely contained beast, with a bassline threatening to jump out of its time signature at any moment while guitar and vocal sounds float across the top.

‘Lemontrees’ would probably sound most at home on the EagullsLP due to its driving drum beat and bass lick, but with enough of the new sound they have grown into to have made a perfect choice to pre-hype the record. ‘Aisles’, one of the heavier songs guitar-wise, offers a lush background for Mitchell’s vocals, while closer ‘White Lie Lullabies’ flexes the band’s songwriting muscle – building as it does from lilting shoegaze to a heavy, brooding beast.

Ullages is a brilliant snapshot of a band in a restless state of flux, an ambitious move away from their earlier sound which still retains the nervous, twitchy energy which made them stand out in the first place. Get hold of a copy and embrace the darkness.

Ullages is available from iTunes and Amazon.


How To Become A Part Of Long Division In 2016

  • Published in News


As with much in the arts world the Long Division festival has suffered a cut in its 2016 funding. Having managed for a number of years to keep the cost of tickets almost ludicrously low in relation to the amount of bands it's possible to see over its length this removal of a chunk of funds has now jeopardised its ability to go ahead in 2016.

To that end the event has turned to crowdfunding to make up the shortfall of £6,000 that stands between the festival and death. The portal for pledging some cash opens today and closes on October 21. It can be accessed here

Long Division does great things in and around Wakefield and Musos' Guide have enjoyed seeing such acts there as Theo Verney, Gruff Rhys, The Fall, TOY, The Wedding Present, The Pictish Trail and Eagulls to name only a fraction of the great bands who've played over the past few years. Add to that the diverse range of venues in the city, the welcoming nature of the locals and the quality of the local hostelries and you have the ideal Summer staycation urban festival destination. 

Long Division 2016 is due to take place June 10 - 12 and we've put our hand in our pocket to ensure that it does. We highly recommend that you do too. 

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