24 Feb 2016

Eagulls / My Life In Rewind (song review)

Slow moving soft melodic motifs, shimmering guitar parts, and the occasional deep-set vocal; is this the fucking Cocteau Twins? Leeds' premier post-punk band, Eagulls have unveiled the second song from their forthcoming sophomore album. It's a complete curveball, the new song My Life In Rewind, sounding essentially like a song from Disintergration or Heaven or Las Vegas bar the obnoxiously nonchalant vocals of frontman George Mitchell.
Considering Eagulls probably had the whole post-punk pastiche thing absolutely honed on their first record, it's really quite a shock to hear how much they've departed from that. Already sounding older and wiser, the band's new sound is much more refined and much dreamier - it's actually a bit of a shock that they've changed so much in two years, but admittedly at the time of the debut they said they'd been sitting on the songs from that record for a few years already. And besides, parts of the searing guttural feedback the guitars on Eagulls provide sound like they could have been ripped off a shoegaze record - Footsteps was literally a ball of Ride song cake contorted to fit into a Joy Division plastic cut out shape.

The song itself is fairly solid, with lyrics full of empty regret wafting over the top of the dream-pop soundscapes the band seem to be able to create so effortlessly. It's almost forlorn, with lyrics like "I wish that I could/change my mind" showing a more sensitive side to Eagulls than the angry angry boys that blasted everyone away with Soulless Youth in 2014.

The thing is, Eagulls was the perfect debut, 10 songs each seemingly more perfect than the last. So is this (albeit fairly solid) departure necessarily a good thing? I think I'd much rather see them change up their sound, especially as they're so very nearly flawlessly on point with this dream-pop sound. It takes a bit of getting used to with Mitchell's abrasive voice, but this is priming Eagulls' debut to be a real gem of a record. Especially coming after the surprisingly fuzzy comeback single of Lemontrees, so this primes their second record to be a return as brave and bold as their debut...

(written by calum cashin)