There was a lot of life-threatening decision making that went into choosing the Album of the Week this week. I mean, every week is always a blood thirsty battle of mental degradation, but this week had two contenders that caused my bowels to churn in excited anticipation. There was the February release from John Dwyer’s Damaged Bug, an album that flew right under my nose when it came out about a month back. Then there was the debut album from Eagulls, a band that brings a visceral savageness to English punk music that hasn’t really been heard since, well, Savages. On the one hand, John Dwyer is John Dwyer, but on the other, I’m a sucker for anything with loud guitars, boisterous vocals and cock-solid songwriting. In the end, it just seemed like the obvious choice to go for an album as brilliant as Eagulls’ self titled.
Objectively speaking, there’s something about Eagulls that catches one off-guard. Is it the driving riffs? The cut-throat, biting lyrics of cynicism incarnate? The dirty, plunging energy that asserts the band’s music and songwriting to a top tier amongst their contemporaries? How about all of the above?
On their debut, Eagulls harness everything in their power to grapple-hook your imagination into being a willing slave to their music. Like Metz and Japandroids before them, they never let up for a second, combining diehard enthusiasm with a crushing, steam-rolling power that has the potential to kill. Stick on a track like ‘Nerve Endings’ or ‘Yellow Eyes’ on a massive speaker, place some easily frightened people in front of said speakers, and watch the heart-attacks skyrocket. Hell, if you were smart about it, you’d dabble in some life-insurance collection. Tax fraud has never been so punk!
Anyway, moving away from that super dark tangent, ‘Eagulls’ is brimming with intensity and scorchingly uncompromising material. The chorus’ ring through strong and fast. The song ended four hours ago, and you’re trying to get to sleep, but even at 2am, ‘TOUGH LUCK, TOUGH LUCK, TOUGH LUCK, TOUGH LUCK!” bellows through the brain cells. But that’s the sheer power on display, innit?
Everything blows your panties off, leaving your shit-stained drawers hanging off the ceiling fan for everyone to see. ‘Possessed’ is a particularly dirty rocker that indulges in being a bleak anthem, waiting for it’s careening guitars to be blasted across PA’s the world over.’Fester/Blister’ begs to be shouted to hard a lung is guaranteed to be coughed up, and the finale of ‘Soulless Youth’ is a gut-wrnechingly loud lesson in shredding, both in terms of lyrical savagery and musical prowess.
Yep, Eagulls dropped no surprised on their debut, in that everyone expected the unexpected. Sure, it’s a cliche, but when there’s a band this good, churning out screeching and bombastic tracks with such teeth-clenched consistency. You woulda thought at least one of the band members shat themselves is such the focus on this record. But instead of brown stains, there’s only amazing tracks. A double-win if ever there was one.