Sorry to admit, but historically we've not been too keen on Eagulls at KPL Towers. Their set at Tramlines over the summer didn't exactly thrill us and we'd got them pegged as a bit... childish. Their sneers and lad-friendly punk-pop seemed a bit more NME bating than it did underground treat, so when we heard they were putting out a split record with awesome slacker-pop tykes Mazes we were a little surprised. But before you click away to read about some indistinct American act who peddle hazy pop that they claim is influenced by R&B, give this a chance as both sides have managed to get together for a nice scuzzy bit of exhilaration.
Of course it is Mazes that we're mostly in favour of, their contributions 'Farewell Summer' and 'Messenger' are excellent examples of the fuzzy hooks and 90's indebted tunes that made us fall for them when they supported Best Coast earlier in the year.
Mazes- Farewell Summer by italianbeachbabes
Comparisons to Pavement still stand, but Malkmus and co. created such fertile ground during their existence that when it's tended so well great crops are bound to spring. Frankly, in fact, it's a damn shame that this feel hasn't come back into the British indie scene long before now.
Mazes second contribution comes in the form of a cover. 'Messenger' was originally by Wipers, but as we're unfamiliar with that band (for now!) sounds to us like Mazes going for the peddle marked late-70s and coming up with some delightful retro rock and roll. Aces! (Also, if you've not yet bought their album A Thousand Heys yet, then you really should)
Mazes- Messenger by italianbeachbabes
Eagulls meanwhile surprise with some more than listenable contributions. The weak point of their live show seemed, to these pop senses, their sneering approximation of a lead singer whose 90's Mancunian stagecraft seemed more important to him than his actual singing. On record, this vocal is focused somewhat and let loose on their brand of retro punk, that takes in elements of more innovative acts as Sonic Youth on their lead track 'Possessed'.
Possessed by eagulls
It is still massively bratty, but by remembering to stick around a hook and going flat-out with the energy this manages the fun that their Tramlines set completely missed. Like Mazes Eagulls have also covered Wipers for the release, in their case 'Mystery'.
The single is being released by Italian Beach Babes, the label run by Eagulls bass player Conan. It's due out in time for Mazes headline tour where Milk Maid will support. (Dates below)
3 Leeds, Nation Of Shopkeepers
4 Manchester, The Kings Arms
5 Edinburgh, Sneaky Petes
6 Glasgow, Captains Rest
7 Newcastle, Dog & Parrot
8 Lancaster, Library
9 Nottingham, Spanky Van Dykes
10 Sheffield, The Harley
11 Oxford, Jericho
12 Birmingham, The Hare & Hounds
13 London, The Lexington
14 Brighton, The Hope
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