Album review: Eagulls, “Ullages”

by Jon E. Lynch

Eagulls, “Ullages”

Available: May 13 via Partisan Records as a download, CD and an LP on black vinyl

The sophomore release can be a tricky endeavor for bands. I mean this figuratively, because it might really be only “tricky” in the context of music criticism. Bands – and fans – have been led to believe the ceiling can come crashing down if a second record doesn’t live up to the first. To the mostly useless, musically-inept record reviewers, the ones who can’t actually play instruments but have been pegged/tapped for some insights to the nuance of actually creating an entire record, there is arbitrary weight lumped onto a band’s follow-up to its debut. Especially if that debut was well received critically.

The follow up, in this instance, is the anagramic Ullages from the Leeds-based quintet Eagulls. Perhaps without coincidence, ullage also refers to the amount by which contents fall short of filling a cask or bottle. Nothing falls short on this Craig Silvy-(Portishead, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode) produced album. The angular, post-punk guitars are still present, though perhaps refined and tempered with homage to some of their English forbearers (see below). Lead singer and lyricist George Mitchell’s vocal parts have been heavily tour-seasoned, complemented aside guitarists Liam Matthews’ and Mark Goldsworthy’s interplay. This album has gotten better with each subsequent listen.

Recommended for fans of Echo & the Bunnymen, Killing Joke or Disintegration-era The Cure and modern contemporaries DIIV or The Soft Moon.

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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