Breaking news: Eagulls listen to The Smiths!

Not the most obvious influence for the shoegaze/punk influenced post-punk quintet, but their newly released single ‘Lemontrees’ sounds less influenced by Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, rather favouring groups like The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen – even XTC in those lush rhythm chords.

This is an interesting and bold move by the band. Their self-titled debut album was critically acclaimed, so it would have been easy to avoid the dreaded “Second Album Syndrome” by doing more of the same. If it ain’t broke and all that… But no one likes a one trick pony. Does anyone LOVE Status Quo apart from Francis Rossi’s mum?

To avoid becoming like Status Quo (a fate worse than death), Eagulls have opted for their guitars to have a shiny, almost pretty sound on ‘Lemontrees’. This, combined with the tom-heavy, gloomy-but-danceable rhythms of Killing Joke, makes for an intriguing sound utilised by very few, if any, of their contemporaries. It’s an inspired combination though because it just works. It’s like all the best bits of 80’s British alternative music but with a thoroughly modern twist. George Mitchell’s vocals sound just as urgent as Jaz Coleman’s but with an element of control so rarely displayed by Killing Joke. And that’s definitely a good thing.

It might still be early days for Eagulls, but at this rate they really could be one of the groups that saves British guitar music, especially if the rest of the upcoming album is as strong as this track.

Eagulls are embarking on a UK tour in March. Listen to ‘Lemontrees’ below.