[kj] (OT) Multiple KJ name-drops in Eagulls album review:

Rheinhold Squeegee kjlist at live.com
Thu Mar 13 09:47:11 EDT 2014

Between these guys, Weekend and Beastmilk, KJ is getting a lot of play with the young people these days. This band is touring the US in May - June.


Finding one’s voice isn’t just an emptying and purifying
oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing of
filiations, communities, and discourses. Inspiration could be called
inhaling the memory of an act never experienced.

—Jonathan Lethem, "The Ecstasy of Influence"
You take away our right to steal ideas, where are they going to come from?

—Roger Meyers Jr., The Simpsons

Do a literature review of the many words already shed over UK miscreants Eagulls, and it reads like a primer on the language of classic post-punk. The vocals aren't "sung," they're "intoned"; guitars are "swirling" (but only when they're not already "squelling" or "squalling"); the basslines are, of course, "propulsive." It's like the band started with the premise "let's rip off Killing Joke," and everything sorta grew from there. They even put out a cover of "Requiem" late last year, just so you couldn't help but notice that they've got their daddy's eyes.

The Leeds five-piece look and sound like they were beamed here from
early-Thatcherite England, captured in the transporter sometime between
opening for The Psychedelic Furs and stepping off a session with Martin Hannett.
They don't just wear their influences on their sleeves; their baggy
parkas are fully made of 'em. And you know what? There's nothing wrong
with that.

After four years of touring, recording, and
basically heaping their praises into a ski hill, Eagulls dropped off
their self-titled debut last week. It's top prize post-punk from some
very promising students of the early Manchester and London scenes. "Nerve Endings" is basically "One Hundred Years" off of The Cure’s Pornography,
the latter's needling lead now crushed up against the rhythm section,
mowing along like a combine. "Tough Luck" is a shimmering, little nugget
of redemption thrown out for the downcast — the spiritual kin of "Dreams Never End," track one off New Order's
debut after the passing of Ian Curtis. And the album's centrepiece,
"Possessed," understands the mechanics of Killing Joke's "Requiem" — a
minimalistic study on a big, bad riff — better than their own racing

On the subject of influence in art, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch said:
"Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If
you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is
invaluable; originality is nonexistent.” There's a reason why Eagulls
(or Holograms or Iceage or Savages) are revisiting the sounds of the pre-Madchester underground — why that history speak to their souls, as Jarmusch says.
Blame it on the dreary disposition of
northern climes or the mindlessness of pop radio (always a great
scapegoat in lazy cultural crit), but if we're really hunting for
reasons why the countercultural aesthetic of Thatcherite England has
gained a new currency, something must be said about present day
political, cultural, and social climates that breed despondency before
dissent. Could this mopey pose be the product of snowballing debt,
shitty jobs prospects, perpetual foreign conflict, and, generally, no
way out?

In 1980, Killing Joke was the sound of a generation saying they had no agency in their own future. Perhaps, history has come knocking.

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