Music Reviews, Non-Fiction

Eagulls – Ullages

EAGULLS158017
ULLAGES
PARTISAN RECORDS
Sophomore release from Leeds post-punk band
9/10

Following up on their 2014 debut with Ullages (an anagram of their name), Eagulls have refined their sound without losing any of their intensity. The brittle bass is overlaid with jangling pop guitar, pounding drums and vocals that sound just on the edge of desperation. It’s a mixture of The Cure and the Cocteau Twins. A post-punk sound so impressive that these songs could have been playing on record players in the early 80s. That’s not to say there isn’t a modern twist; songs like Heads or Tails, Euphoria, and the epic Skipping bristle with the sound of ungentrified cityscapes of this broken land. The Eagulls take inspiration for their sound from a bleak past to show up the bleakness of our own times. They are one of the few bands around today worth listening to.

This review first appeared in Louder Than War magazine issue 4, May/June 2016

Music Reviews

Spookyland: Beauty Already Beautiful

SPOOKYLANDspookyland-beauty_already_beautiful
BEAUTY ALREADY BEAUTIFUL
([PIAS])
Debut release from Sydney alt country/folk rockers.
8/10

Singer/songwriter Marcus Gordon explores the virtue of poetry on the Australian quartet’s first full release. Do we need a poet to interpret a beautiful sunset for us? Is all poetry pointless? Gordon explores the dichotomy that all words either romanticise or distil reality. Poetry, at its best, should be an incantation, a ritual of words to open up the magic of the world. Gordon’s lyrics are clever and self-aware; add to that some bloody cool riffs and you’ve got a band on the top of their game. There are great anthemic tunes like Rebellion, and the Stones’ like blues of Big Head. There are hints of Neil Young and The Waterboys. Gordon has a distinctive singing voice full of yearning that spills emotion. It’s a voice, and a band, to take note of.

This review first appeared in Louder Than War magazine Issue 4 May/June 2016

Music Reviews

Fat White Family: Songs For Our Mothers

FAT WHITE FAMILY 156251
SONGS FOR OUR MOTHERS
(Without Consent)
Sophomore album from Brixton degenerates.
8/10

With songs such as When Shipman Decides and Goodbye Goebbels you might expect the Fat White Family to be going for shock on their second album. But there is more to this band than that. This is an album of lo-fi, dark disco, krautrock that sends messages from the seedier side of life. It invokes dark boozers, life on welfare, casual encounters and mornings of empty wallets and throbbing heads. But there is a horrifying beauty here too, as on Tinfoil Deathstar, a song about heroin and benefit cuts. Fat White Family may not be the saviours of rock many proclaim them, but they are one of the few bands documenting the horror of modern Britain. They should be applauded for treading their own (off the beaten) path.

 

This article first appeared in Louder Than War magazine, issue 3 March/April 2016