Eagulls - Eagulls (Used)
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On their self-titled debut, Eagulls reveal themselves to be a more intriguing, and more complicated, proposition than mere punk revivalists. Listening to furious outbursts such as "Amber Veins," it's easy to hear why they've played with bands like Iceage, and on "Nerve Endings and "Yellow Eyes," they confront the void with as much noise as possible. Yet Eagulls' angst sounds and feels more modern than another rehash of 1977's discontents. They temper their fire with plenty of atmosphere: riffs are as likely to float in midair as explode; instead of an in-your-face snarl, George Mitchell's howls are half-buried in the churning noise of his bandmates on songs like "Tough Luck"; and "Opaque"'s whirling sound effects give its anthemic thrust an unexpected twist. All of this makes Eagulls as eerie as it is intense as it swings between dread and catharsis. With its slippery chord changes, "Footsteps" is a fine example of the former that borrows a bit of Wire's spiky paranoia. However, Eagulls are at their best when they inject a little joy into the frustration that dominates these songs. They do this brilliantly on "Possessed," an anti-anthem that makes a searing, shoegaze-inspired riff fit through sheer force of will while channeling the album's frustration into something exuberant.
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