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The Lovely Eggs - This Is Eggland album review

Alt.rock legend helps Lancashire indie pranksters expand their horizons

Cover art for The Lovely Eggs - This Is Eggland album

Blending defiantly DIY junk-shop punk-pop, psychedelic surrealism and northern smalltown humour, The Lovely Eggs have always been a Marmitelevel acquired taste. But Lancaster-based married couple Holly Ross and David Blackwell take an evolutionary step forward on this, their fifth album, which upgrades their scrappy, self-produced sound with help from fabled Mercury Rev/Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann. Enriched by Fridmann’s sumptuous widescreen studio-scapes, lo-fi krautrocking chuggers like Hello I Am Your Sun or Wiggy Giggy shake off their spartan bedsit origins and spread their wings, soaring aloft on warm currents of guitar fuzz and reverb-heavy ambience.

Perhaps in deference to their renowned producer, Ross and Blackwell tone down their juvenile jokey tendencies here, although they still find room for two-minute Ramones-ish rants with titles like Dickhead and Would You Fuck. Their rebooted, expanded sound hits a sublime peak with sister tracks Witchcraft and Return Of Witchcraft, anthemic psych-punk piledrivers that take wild digressions into spooky incantations and punchy percussive convulsions. There are echoes here of The Fall in their Brix-era imperial phase, a clobbering garage-rock physicality spiked with dry wit and subversively sweet melody.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.