Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
Track By Track: Eagulls on their self-titled debut

Track By Track: Eagulls on their self-titled debut

05 March 2014, 08:50

We’ve been long-time fans of the snarling punk stampede conjured up by edgy Leeds five-piece Eagulls – not least in our review of their recently released debut record. To celebrate its release, we asked the band to talk us through the record – to find them eloquent and passionate in their description of the desperation and everyday discomfort that infuses the disaffected drive of the band’s sound.

Rather than simple pessimism, the band’s outlook on modern life and society is an incredibly considered, compelling study of the inertia of the modern condition. Read on for the account of vocalist George Mitchell – talking everything from anxiety to becoming possessed by the power of music, to his grandfather’s webbed feet.

“Nerve Endings”

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had this uncomfortable and unpredictable nervous sensation that I could never come to terms with. It was around the time when we were starting to write the songs which would become the album that I was suffering more and more from this strange feeling, and it was beginning to really wear me down physically and mentally. A friend noticed the change in me and warned me of what anxiety actually is, and how it affects us, and I matched all the symptoms. Awkwardly as always – I kept ignoring it, yet subconsciously I was becoming more and more aware of its mental stresses, as I went on an endless binge cycle of working, gigging, drinking etc. Sod’s law: I think it’s a burden I’ll have to carry with me forever and it will only end when I do. I think this song explains this panic not only through the lyrics, but through the music and it’s something a lot of people can relate to.

“Hollow Visions”

I wrote this song initially from my own experiences of holding onto all my aspirations of ‘going somewhere in life’ only to find myself in a dead end job with nothing going for me. The repetitive retail job I had to hold onto to pay the bills was becoming to feel as if I was trapped in some sort of cult and I would never be let back into the free world to do what I actually wanted to do. All I was thinking about at that time was my personal expectations of myself that were never being fulfilled and how my future was becoming less dreamlike and much more of a nightmare. Selfishly I was only thinking of myself when I wrote this song, but the more I hear it the more I see our generation of shattered expectations. Hollow Visions for me has now become an ode to not only me but everyone’s shattered hopes and dreams.

“Yellow Eyes”

I find it very depressing that in this day and age people are still institutionalised by some form of religious belief. I personally feel like anyone is free to do as they wish within their lives, but why choose/be forced into something that is so false and outdated when there are so many other ways to live and shape your short period of time called life? It grates me to see a person engulfed in this worship for something that does not exist, and I feel a lot of people have lost their precious time worshipping this so called ‘creator’. “Yellow Eyes” is pointed towards the believers of this great architect and questions them why? Why the world’s creator would let us suffer the way we do baffles me. I shall never find faith because I can’t see it, I can’t feel it, and I can’t hear it.

“Tough Luck”

This was the first song we recorded with the producer for our record, Matt Peel. We did a demo session recording “Tough Luck” with Matt before the album and we were all happy with the outcome, yet it felt like it was lacking something. A few weeks later Matt came to one of our shows and it was there, hearing our sound live when he clicked and realised that it was the live authentic energy that the demo recording was missing. It was from then on a key effort for us to keep the live atmosphere throughout the album and he did a great job. “Tough Luck” originated from a poem I wrote about my granddad’s webbed feet titled “Thalidomide Poem.” The original poem was written from a child’s “pondering” point of view. Intrigued by difference as a child, I asked why my granddad’s dissimilar feet were so unlike mine and I was told it was due to a tablet which was used “in the olden days” to help mothers get through morning sickness during pregnancy. I later found out that this tablet was the drug Thalidomide, which caused numerous birth defects. The song is portraying the gamble of trusting in something without knowing the true consequences. “Touch Wood” — everything will be fine. But then, “Tough Luck” — sadly, you’re left misfortunate with your gamble.

“Amber Veins”

When Goldy came up with this riff I knew I had to come up with something just as prickly and colourful sounding that would enable the lyrics to match the music’s calibre. For a while I’d wanted to write about my experiences of my neighbours that stuck with me from my late teens. Next door to my Mum’s house on a normal suburban street was a bungalow that had been unoccupied for a few months, due to the old lady passing away who had lived there. The landlord let a young couple move in with their new born baby and everything seemed to be fine, but as weeks passed, things changed. At night we would watch people appear walking down the street with all kinds of appliances like washing machines, TV’s etc. They would exchange their stolen objects for heroin in the bungalow and then re-appear in this zombie like state. This routine became an ongoing cycle. With use of alliteration to keep up with the prickly riff, this song became a documentation of the addict’s decaying cycle, and how everyone around showed no remorse for their abuse.


Most people know of this song from a few years back when we released it on a 7” split record. We decided to re-record this one as we wanted to capture it in all its glory – plus it also seemed really important for us to use this song as it’s a great display of our own original sound and an important piece of our live set. In the first few years of playing live we would travel as much as possible whenever, wherever and to whomever we could. It was doing so that formed misconceptions about us as nobody had a background on us and what we seemed to be doing was a slight mystery. Reviewers started to write and talk about our live shows and started the misconception that I was constantly on drugs during our performance. When performing live I have become transfixed and glazed over in my own realm. The music spawns an urge that builds up and overcomes my senses, leaving me almost spellbound under the music’s possession. Seeing our live shows people started to perceive I was using drugs to get into this state, and/or mad. “Possessed” is describing this curse like enchantment, yet at the same time mocking an outsider’s wrong pre-judgment of our appearance. It’s the age old saying of “don’t judge a book by its cover”.


When I was young growing up, I always preferred subjects and hobbies which were out of the ordinary. I would much rather have collected spiders and other insects from the garden and watch them mutilate one another in a Tupperware tub, than sit around indoors playing the latest video game like most of the other children at school seemed to do with their time. As I grew older and realised the cruelty of what I was doing, I then correspondingly realised the contrast in what I preferred to associate myself with, compared to the so called normal people around me associating themselves with the latest trends. This song projects my outsider’s point of view of seeing ‘the norm’ as a pain. All though I know not everyone is a creative, I think this sense of angst originates from growing up in a dead end town where creativity is seen as a weakness and not a strength. Following the same footsteps as everyone else to please them and not yourself is going to leave you with nothing more than the shadow of the one you follow.

“Fester / Blister”

This song is a sharp attacking display of feelings describing overcoming what’s gone wrong in the past, but the problem you have overcome keeps on coming back to haunt you. Everyone has done bad things in life that they wish they had not done in the first place and everyone has had something or other come back as a consequence to make things worse. This song is interpreting this metaphorically as a vile open wound that won’t ever heal. But, like most regrets that come back to haunt you, I choose not to discuss mine openly.


This song started its life as a really upbeat chorus-affected bass line. Then there came a janglier and upbeat matching guitar which simply followed the bass. We really liked the sound of the song and wanted to use it as it stood out by itself, but the problem with its light and simplistic melodies it needed more to it. We sat on this song for quite a while and it became the last song we wrote for the album due to us wanting more from its minimalism. Then one night, Goldy started to play around with a polyphonic octave generator pedal, and it sprung new life into the song and gave it much more depth. I’d had a dark subject on my mind that I’d wanted to discuss lyrically in a song around the time of writing our album and this song with its euphoric and gleeful sounds seemed to compliment the darkness of the lyrics. The lyrics are about a co-worker that was arrested on sexual abuse charges. I prefer to not hear this song or perform it live as this vile excuse of a man’s attitude still repulses me. The fact that most crimes like this never get solved and the aftermath that the abused are left with makes me feel terrible.

“Soulless Youth”

Whilst locking ourselves in our tight claustrophobic practice space away from normality every night, we started to create some strange yet useful sounds. The alarm like noise at the start of “Soulless Youth” became one of them that we very nearly threw away, but when we came to an agreement to use it, we also adapted it for the breakdown, to gain much more impact than the stripped back structure we were using beforehand. I feel “Soulless Youth” is a piece that exhibits our culture of giving up and never going back. When one feels like everything that is wrong has become somewhat right for them, and the only subjects one can enjoy in life has become somewhat of sin. With no belief in oneself and no faith in the everyday ongoing of day to day life, the youth has seemed to have lost its so called ‘soul’. A ravenous heart with nothing in sight, that has lost itself in the rat race. Maybe I’m just a pessimist, or maybe I’m completely wrong, but when I look around me, everywhere I go I see this type of trend in not only the youth, but adults too who have just surrendered to the ideals of ‘life is cruel’ and ‘what’s the use’. I think most people will recite the album’s songs as having a “fuck the world” attitude, but really there is so much more depth to the songs when you render them as a “the world forgot about us” approach. Hopefully these songs will wake people up to this fact and in future they can gain from it. But as always, I won’t get my hopes up!

Eagulls is out now on Partisan Records – buy it now through the band’s website.

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