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Eagulls - Ullages LP

Eagulls - Ullages LP

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Ah yes, the “we’re moody post-punks now” career path. Iceage did it. Ceremony did it, harder. Now it seems Eagulls would like to slightly up the ante on their on their pre-existing indie punk and make it that bit more goth. ‘Ullages’ is a cool seminar in how to basically just be the Cure without being the Cure, all sparkle-toned guitars and hand-wringing vocal groans that make me think the end is nigh.

Look pal, it doesn’t matter: as long as it’s good. Context is everything, but if a band sounds truly in love with another, it may get a sentimental buy into the next round -- I was happy enough to listen to Iceage try to be grim Nick Cave punx, and it’s obvious from tracks like “Heads Or Tails” that Eagulls know their source material. They may rip the aesthetic, but “Euphoria” has a lovely riff that they nonetheless wrote. The drums shimmer and compel, the vocals whine and wail like Chewbacca on a ‘Three Imaginary Boys’ hype. It is a fine rock stupor.

Eagulls seem to have a raised interest in atmosphere, too: “Harpstrings” comes in on a wave of shoegazed guitar ambience and airy fret-slides, making for a lovely interlude to the lovely “Velvet” and its old post-punk waltz swirl. These aesthetics, juxtaposed with that unhinged vocal burble, is actually something to marvel at -- panting desperately, our frontman sounds lost in his own musical daydream. I hate the “we’re a dignified punk band now” trajectory with everything in me, and I distrust the angle even more when it comes from Eagulls -- but I can’t help very much liking this cheesy, well-assembled record.