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The Lovely Eggs - This Is Eggland album review

Alt.rock legend helps Lancashire indie pranksters expand their horizons

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.