Eagulls: Ullages

Abrasive indie warblers look on the dark side of Leeds life.

Eagulls Ullages album cover

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If Kaiser Chiefs popularised the catchphrase ‘Everything’s Brilliant In Leeds’ in the 00s, Eagulls are out to reassert the city’s bleakness.

Dropping riff of Joy Division, jangle of Smiths and waft of Cure into their witchy noir-pop cauldron, they conjure visions of lost teenagers racing stolen cars (Euphoria), disintegrating lives (My Life In Rewind), hypodermic hells (Skipping) and the general feel of foggy ring road pile-ups.

I feel stabbed in the dark tonight,’ wails singer George Mitchell in his (occasionally grating) high-pitched, atonal warble on Heads Or Tails. This second album has the same sickening impact: 11 cold and merciless slashes of amorphous goth-pop that dish out sparse high-wire melodies, as on Harpstrings, Blume and the violent waltz of Velvet, like glimpses of sunlight to a basement gimp. Everything’s brutalist in Leeds, apparently.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle.