Lancaster pair The Lovely Eggs only get younger, and now that spouses Holly Ross and David Blackwell have settled into parenthood they’ve recorded the most vigorous album of their ten-plus years as bandmates.
The latest twist in their quirky saga is the surprise appearance of Dave Fridmann in the role of producer on This is Eggland. The man who has been at the helm of richly textured modern classics by bands such as Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips and Mogwai seems an unlikely candidate to work with an unassuming guitar-and-drums garage punk duo, but perhaps the change of pace was part of the lure. The results seem evident only in hindsight. The Lovely Eggs are still raw, but This is Eggland stacks up layers of rawness, creating the sonic illusion of a band twice their size.
Novel production techniques come out right away on “Hello I Am Your Sun” with the stereo panning on Ross’ isolated opening vocals. They keep the strobing trick going on the next track, “Wiggy Giggy”. A techno-like loop of the title plainly spoken goes into orbit around the Sarah Records-on-steroids single, and one has to at least commend their commitment to testing the limits of its catchiness. The praises of repetition are sung even more overtly on “Repeat It”, and an 8-bit keyboard cycle reminiscent of Grandaddy’s “The Crystal Lake” winds around the chorus of “Big Sea”.
Such instances of new-fangled (for the band) ear-poking don't interfere, but augment what the Lovely Eggs do best. “I Shouldn’t Have Said That”, the pummeling psych diptych “Return of Witchcraft” and “Witchcraft”, and every other corner of Eggland find them in their sweet spot: blunt pop purity bolstered by Big Muff pedals and a sense of not-quite-reckless abandon.