• Sandy Kim

There's a malevolence to Eagulls' gazed-out punk sound. It's carnal and corroded, but evenly careening. The quintet from Leeds, England, seems sonically disgruntled and disaffected. Songs on their self-titled debut album stew and lurch with fetid rhythm and melodies that seem to come more from agitation than composition. George Mitchell's loaded, high-throated plaints sit well within the cadent angst of Mark Goldsworthy and Liam Matthews's guitars. Henry Ruddell's steady, heavy drumming opens bomb-bay doors that hook into Tom Kelly's distorted bass lines. It's night, and Leeds is below the bomber in a blackout. In 1941, the city escaped the worst of Germany's Luftwaffe blitz bombing. Forty miles southwest of Leeds lies Manchester, and on the map, some of Eagulls' tones sprout context: a composite of Joy Division, Stone Roses, Gang of Four, and the Cure, tied off into volatile, miscreant accelerations of shoegaze. For further context, there is Eagulls' famous SXSW open letter about "beach bands sucking each other's dicks and rubbing the press's clit" and the "disgusting Afrobeat sounds," but the letter was blown out of proportion. Eagulls say a lot of shit all the time. They're playful. They're hungry. They have an edge. More important is the rotting pig brain they time-lapsed in their basement for their video for "Nerve Endings," and the police activity that followed. George Mitchell and Henry Ruddell spoke from Nashville, Tennessee. They were sitting on a porch in the sun drinking lemon-and-ginger tea. They were feeling all right.

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