Outside the occasional shouted chorus and venom-tipped aside, it’s hard to make out much George Mitchell is saying on Eagulls’ self-titled debut. His anger, however, is crystal-clear, and it cuts across an album’s worth of towering riffs that resemble roaring jet engines (“Possessed”), and four-alarm forest fires (“Soulless Youth”).
The band cops to a My Bloody Valentine influence and came up in the local hardcore scene in Leeds, but behind those bands, you can hear the dour nihilism that powered a generation of post-punk bands. In fact, Eagulls recently offered a faithful cover of the old Killing Joke favorite “Requiem” as a B-side, and you can hear the same nervous energy, pessimism and cynicism in the mix here. When Mitchell’s lyrics finally do swim to the surface, they paint vivid pictures of panic attacks (“Nerve Endings”), hopeless heroin addicts (“Amber Veins”), and a god who couldn’t be bothered showing up on Sunday with the rest of us (“Yellow Eyes”). Heavy stuff, then, begging to be discovered beneath the din.