Okay, I’m going to keep this post pretty short for the following reasons:
1) I’m supposed to be in University, doing studious exercises to improve my learning capability and increase my chances of getting a job in this harsh economic climate.
Alas, I am evidently not doing this, because I would much rather spread the word about this tasty Leeds-based five-some: Eagulls. Their music lies somewhere near the contemporary crashing indie style of The Cribs, evoking memories of The Undertones during the heights of the punk era in the late 70′s and 80′s.
2) I know about as much about the band as I have already divulged: they are based in Leeds. But not from Leeds. What use this information is to you, I’m not sure, but it does make it seem like I’ve written more words than necessary. Now that is a skill I’ve learnt in University..
The single, “Council Flat Blues” is out today available here. Buy it for Valentines. Or just buy it because you like it.
Put simply, Yuck’s eponymous debut album looks set to become one of the early contenders album of the year lists.
I was about to launch into a Winston Churchill-esque speech about how it’s great to finally see a British band challenging, and in my opinion, eclipsing the creativity of the lo-fi indie scene flowing so effortlessly from America in recent years, but then I did my homework. By all accounts, the majority of the band are British, (Drummer Jonny hails from New Jersey, and bassist Mariko, from Japan), and therefore to claim that their heritage lies within these shores would not be entirely false . However, on reflection, I came to the realisation some of you will inevitably have reached after the first sentence of this paragraph: none of this matters one iota. To roll out an old cliche, “all that matters is the music”.
The album is a rollercoaster between the high-energy crescendos found in songs like “Operation”, “Get Away” & “The Wall”, and the alluring vulnerability of “Suicide Policeman” and “Stutter” – hauntingly reminiscent of early Foo Fighters. Before they went all fat and made dad-rock. One of my favourite tracks from the album is the beautifully hazy “Rose Gives A Lily”: that the band chose to include an instrumental in their debut album, especially with the pressure for ‘singles-singles-singles’ in the current music climate, shows a maturity so rarely found in tandem with youthful artistry.
Despite the hype surrounding ‘Yuck’, to ignore the criticism being levelled at them would be pretty shallow. One of the main gripes about the band seems to be that despite their obvious talent, there is a strong belief they are doing nothing but replicate the works of 90′s alt-rockers such as Dinosaur Jr (of whom the band are all admittedly big fans), Sonic Youth and Pavement. I found a quote from an article showcasing album highlight “Georgia” which perfectly encapsulates the feeling from some, “very promising band, even if they are completely unoriginal”. My own opinion however, is predictably far less cynical than labelling them as simply talented plagiarists. Whilst the similarities between said bands and Yuck are undeniable, it seems hugely unfair to dismiss their music so fleetingly. At worst the record is a contemporary homage to the golden era of alt-rock, and well on it’s way to being one of the first great albums of 2011.
Since I heard Ghostpoet’s recently released single “Cash & Carry Me Home” being played on the fantastic Giles Peterson show on Radio One a month or two ago, it has steadily worked its way to the dizzy heights of first place in my 25 Most Played on iTunes. It is compliment to both the accessibility and originality of Obaro Ejimiwe’s music that his music can feel just at home amongst the intensity of Zane Lowe’s show, as it would in the eclectic haze of Giles Peterson’s worldwide slot.
After hearing “Cash & Carry Me Home”, I found Ghostpoet’s previously released EP (which incidentally can be picked up for free here). The four track release showcases every reason to fall to love the music: culturally relevant lyricism reminiscent of “Original Pirate Material” combines with Ejimiwe’s ‘so-smooth-diabetes-is-a-viable-risk’ delivery, emulsified by addictive idiosyncratic beats. After the seemingly never-ending leak of British MC’s and rappers diluting their music in search of that number one, and a single featuring David Guetta, it is wonderfully refreshing to find an artist so passionate and loyal to their own artistic desire.
If the hype surrounding forthcoming album “Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam” is anything to go by, I’m not the only one watching Ghostpoet very closely this year…
If I’ve learnt anything as a student it’s how little you can buy that isn’t fried, in a fluorescent packet, or generally just toxic, for 99p. However, 99p will buy you the aforementioned “Cash & Carry Me Home”, available here. “Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam” is also available to pre-order here.