Eagulls: Eagulls

Leeds' punk outfit currently making waves Stateside deliver excellent debut LP

Released Mar 10th, 2014 via Partisan / By Erick Mertz
Eagulls: Eagulls Although they’ve only been around creating music for a brief couple of years, Eagulls come across like a band that has honed their hard edge for an eternity. After a series of self-released 7” and 12” singles, the Leeds five-piece has finally dropped their eponymous label debut on Partisan Records, which showcases ten tracks of crisp, nuanced punk rock with a deep, steely-eyed rage.

Characterizing George Mitchell’s vocals as aggressive is only half the matter; his voice is also filled with a doleful fragility. When he belts out lyrics, it’s almost as though you know something is going to break; the only real question is whether it ends up being you or him. The lead single “Nerve Endings” has garnered the band a lot of attention over the last year for its honest, ferocious tone. With a vulnerable honesty that few tracks can emulate successfully, “Possessed” breaks out as a fist-pumping anthem, riotous guitars overlaying a heartbreaking refrain.

The album closes with “Soulless Youth” an explosion of strident guitars, the apocalyptic end seemingly foretold in the previous nine tracks. Nowhere does the record deviate into the realm of punk rock cliché, although the temptations throughout are quite clear. One might forgive some over indulgent song craft or vapid lyrical content, but the band ever goes down that road and it is that controlled element that makes Eagulls an early favorite for album of 2014.

The production is exceptional, the proverbial teakettle to contain the tempest. For an album that thrives on such a raw and visceral energy, the overall sound quality evokes a bleak sense of place, the same way anyone listening to Closer could feel the dank and sweaty subterranean corners that spawned its zeitgeist. Hailed by many as one of the best bands of last year's CMJ showcase, the Eagulls' self-titled debut LP leaves no doubt that all the praise and fable making is legit.