Enthusiastic Leeds post-punk five-piece Eagulls caused a stir after posting an open letter on their blog calling out various indie tropes (eg, “disgusting Afrobeat sounds mixed with your mock American singing” and “promoters clueless to the band’s music but very bothered by the amount of Facebook likes”), before concluding: “Gary Numan would knock ALL of your dads out!”
Amusing as it was, some commentators were upset at their suggestion that female band members were used as some groups’ “golden ticket” and that it failed to lay out any solution other than “f**k rite off”.
“To be honest, it was more a joke that got misconstrued,” groans guitarist Mark Goldsworthy (aka Goldy). “I didn’t even know what an open letter was until that got posted. It was just on our blog that had about 20 people checking it, and it’s got blown out of proportion.”
The action in itself is nonetheless indicative of Eagulls’ unmediated approach to their art form. Drawing influence from the likes of Public Image Ltd, Magazine and Joy Division, they’re a rolling ball of anger, thrilling immediacy and wonderfully skewed guitar tones. “I never take my chorus pedal off,” says Goldy of his and rhythm guitarist Liam Matthews’ harmonic sound. “Liam’s creating that wall of noise behind with the echo and rhythm, and I’m more the melody on the chorus and the flange, which cuts through that.”
Aside from their trusty Boss pedals, Liam relies on a Squier Jaguar and Laney amp (both from the 90s), while Goldy employs a 70s Orange OR80, plus an idiosyncratic Korean Squier from the early 90s.
“The guy I bought it from had some Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounds put in,” he says. “Also, he stripped all the finish off and took it to a car paint shop, so my guitar is actually Land Rover Green with metallic car paint on it! It feels heavier than any of the other Strats I’ve played, and I think it resonates better.”
You can hear it in used on the band’s self-titled recently released debut album. “I’m just eager now,” says Goldy. “I’m keen to put that to bed and start writing a new album or EP, because there’s nothing worse than writing a song then having to sit on it.”