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.