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


The Lovely Eggs – Wildlife
22 November 2012, 07:59 Written by Simon Tyers

The path that Holly Ross and David Blackwell have trod as The Lovely Eggs is quite a singular one. The bringing together of shouty vocals, surrealist sometimes almost nursery rhyme, absurdism and a superfuzz guitar tone indebted to the early ’90s American underground might in lesser hands act as an active deterrent perhaps for all future music consumption. What makes it work within the Lovely Eggs’ specific world, bringing with it a growing and increasingly devoted live following, is that their their DIY, “throw it at a wall of twee noise in case it sticks” approach is so scattershot that they almost seem to be achieving their aim accidentally, in such a way that a track like this third album’s title track – in which Ross witheringly reels off an inventory of insects between guitar stabs over bird noises – comes across as normal, if only to them.

Wildlife comes in at eighteen tracks, six less than a minute long, but such is their nuts scope it maybe doesn’t matter that only half of them are more than scraps and skewed oddities. While they only really have two settings – playful fuzzy indie with faux-naive melodies or thrashy, overdriven stuttering garage rock – there’s a discreet charm and a dry, deadpan, decidedly odd Northern sense of humour that makes their style their own, sounding like they’re taking whatever approach occurs to them at the moment of recording without ever becoming self-indulgent. Take current single ‘I Just Want Someone To Fall In Love With’, which finds Ross attempting to find out if her telephone wire has been severed by birds and ending up at a reservoir (“Hydrogen and oxygen, they found the perfect match together”) with a passing tramp on a scooter which later catches fire. The track manages to come across like a primal, universal appeal for companionship, as well as an endorsement for getting drunk as a way to get over a broken heart. As far as their noisier side goes ‘I Am’ plays around with restrained grunge-era college rock dynamics which manages to hint again at loneliness and desolate feelings, the narrator comparing herself to “the worn sole on an old, old shoe”, “the last book in a library sale” and “a silence in an interview”.

Self-produced and self-recorded, this is a record with such a breadth of cock-eyed scope that it’s no wonder it takes an outside influence to bring some semblance of shape and bolster their strongest melody. Then again that outside party is the non- too-screwed-down-himself Gruff Rhys, who produced the thumping, swirling West Coast psychedelia with samples, multitracked harmonies and sitar of last year’s Too Pure Singles Club release ‘Allergies’; so it’s not as if it’s that much more nakedly commercial. Not that they’re stuck for full length ideas when left alone, ‘Green Beans’ proving that the band can carry off stripped-back blues stomping: like an early Black Keys if they ever considered writing about legumes as seduction chat-up tool. In closer ‘The Castle’ they have a end of the night moment of reflection, albeit one disrupted by Sonic Youth warming up next door. For anyone previously on board with the duo who think all this might still mean a levelling out of their individualist sense of self… well, there are also tracks called ‘Don’t Patent That Shoe’ and ‘Please Let Me Come Mooch Round Your House’.

If not entirely an approachable crossover hit for wider world consumption in waiting, Wildlife nevertheless gives hints that there’s something of depth going on behind Holly and David’s bluff obtuse facade, without punching holes in that eccentric edifice. For all the oblique matter they steadfastly refuse to be written off as a comedy indie-rock band, being as thrillingly dynamic as any more self-conscious NME prey, seeing slacker rock and emotional connectivity and treating both imposters the same.

Listen to Wildlife

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