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.”