Essential New Music: Eagulls’ “Ullages”

Eagulls

This Leeds post-punk quartet grabbed me by the lapels almost immediately a few years ago with the release of its eponymous debut LP. It used Joy Division’s bass-driven riffing and the Sex Pistols’ primal sneer as a launchpad for some of the brattiest Britpop I’d heard in many a year.

Which is why Eagulls’ sophomore release comes as such a surprise—it’s way more Seventeen Seconds (singer George Mitchell essentially is the Young Robert Smith) than Unknown Pleasures, with the band’s angry roar having coalesced into a curdled yawp in the years that have passed (“Skipping,” “My Life In Rewind” and “White Lie Lullabies” dial down the BPMs in favor of layered instrumentation, sonic sophistication and emotional staying power). Clearly some hearts have broken and minds have melted in the intervening period, and they mean it, maaaaaaaaan. A great, if subtle, step forward.

—Corey duBrowa