EAGULLS - ULLAGES (CD)
Often when a band releases their debut album and hits the road hard to promote it, as Eagulls most certainly did, they return with something in the way of an encapsulation of that period. However, in the case of Eagulls, the polar opposite is to be said. If their self-titled debut album was the surging adrenalin of a young band funnelling all their energies into their opening statement to the world then Ullages is the result of them pausing for breath, reflecting, pondering ‘where next’ and then doing it all again, set on creating an altogether different record.
Having spent a few years filling basements, sweatboxes and a plethora of venues throughout the nation, they found themselves catapulted – with the full support of both mainstream and independent press and radio – to playing all over the world (including Australia), taking in prominent festivals such as Coachella, Laneway, Latitude, Leeds & Reading, Bestival and numerous others, as well as acquiring - often hand-picked - major support slots for bands such as the Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Suede, Franz Ferdinand, The War on Drugs, Ride and more.
Whilst their debut album was a juggernaut of a record, often moving at breakneck speed and intensity, it was also a deeply melodic one, one that underneath the heady fuzz and gushing charge of the guitars laid a band with just as many pop leanings as they had punk. It’s these moments that have been brought to the surface on the new record: dense, deeply textured explorations that recall the shimmering opulence of the Cocteau Twins and the ominous gloom of Disintegration / Pornography-era The Cure.
It’s a sound that represents what they feel was perhaps a misconception about their personality the first time around, “There was an idea around the release of the first album that we’re these rowdy lads and we’re not, we’re just into making music.” Says guitarist Mark Goldsworthy.
It’s refreshing as it is exhilarating to hear Eagulls’ Ullages as they continue to forge a prominent British voice in the world of music. This record is every bit as dazzling as it’s predecessor but it comes along with that most rare and treasured quality of being so in a way that feels simultaneously new whilst remaining in the existing character and tone of the band. Never has the term ‘sophomore slump’ been kicked so mercilessly to death as by Eagulls on this album.
1. Heads or Tails
3. My Life in Rewind
11. White Lie Lullabies