Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Eagulls start to dabble in cautious positivity, and it suits them


Release date: 13 May 2016
Eagulls Ullages
11 May 2016, 10:40 Written by Ryan Lunn
In 2014, Eagulls spat out their beautifully brutal self-titled album. The release is still a harrowing snapshot of what it’s like to be young in contemporary Britain - depressed, broke(n) and hopeless. Not a lot has changed since then (it can’t get much worse) but now they’re experimenting with optimism as an antidote to dissatisfaction.

Ullages comes as a eulogy of not only Eagulls’ name, but also their sound - they utilise the same angst as their first album, but it’s shaken up into something different that’s still equally as affecting. Lead singer George Mitchell is still the anti-poet’s poet, venting his anger through abstract lyrics, but he’s no longer hiding his pain behind confrontational and distorted guitars. Instead, the guitars sound hopeful and juxtapose Mitchell’s yearning, acting like the sun offering you its hand on a rainy day.

There is undoubtedly more beauty in Ullages, but darkness always seems to linger in the background. Particularly on opener “Heads and Tails” and penultimate track “Aisles”, which sound like The Smiths covered in cigarette ash. But Eagulls have always been about channelling grittiness into something clean, initally resulting in their debut sounding like Iceage faking a smile during a supermarket shift.

Eagulls have handed in their notices on Ullages, but feel deflated beneath the freedom - the “fallen fruits” from their labour form “a noxious scene”, according to “Lemontrees” - one of the album’s many highlights. There’s also the glorious “Velvet”, sounding like Scott Walker on steroids covering the Cocteau Twins in an empty pub, and the album’s finale - the crashing comedown of “White Lie Lullabies” - which is Eagulls admitting that their newfound optimism is most likely in vain. But even a false sense of optimism is still an acknowledgement that there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next