Reminds us of: Gang of Four, Foals, Echo and the Bunnymen, Wire, The Fall, Joy Division
A few years ago I read a book by Simon Reynolds called ‘Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978- 1984’. It was quite a good read, and as I finished each chapter I’d jump online to listen to the bands mentioned if I they weren’t familiar to my earbuds. The band that I remember most from this was Gang of Four, and in particular the ‘Entertainment’ album, which is pretty damn marvellous. Egyptian Blue sound like the Gang of Four from that period, which makes them pretty marvellous too.
The band come from the Essex/Suffolk borders, but reside in Brighton. I’m also an Essex émigré, as are a lot of my friends, and who can blame them for heading for Brighton? There seems to be a burgeoning music scene growing down there with a number of other exciting prospects emerging, including noiseniks Happy Couple, whose lead singer Lena Pilshofer produced the artwork for Egyptian Blue’s singles.
Over the last year the band have released three singles digitally, with all three songs alongside another forming a proper vinyl EP ‘Collateral Damage’. The lead track from that EP was To Be Felt which was the one that brought them to my attention in the first place and has garnered a lot of positive media reaction, and this attention has subsequently been built on by the other two releases Collateral and Contain It, both of whom have made it on to the Radio 6 playlist.
All the tracks on the EP are excellent (the EP is completed by Adderall). The guitars judder and occasionally jangle, the bass is inventive, the drumming is tight and powerful and the dual vocalists complement each other well. It feels like each song has gone through a lengthy process of refinement to get to its finished state. The band have indeed erased all of their earlier releases, such as ‘Cut Me a Hole’ which is understandable as that output does not compare favourably to this EP.
The band have toured extensively with fellow bright new things The Murder Capital, and I had the pleasure of seeing their set at All Points East earlier this year. Despite looking a bit serious throughout I thought they played a blinding set, and the quality of material over the half an hour or so that they played certainly suggests that there’s more good stuff from them to come. I’m certainly looking forward to catching them at their headline gig at the Servants Quarters in October.