The Lovely Eggs
, December 5th, 2012 08:36
Lancashire's Lovely Eggs return with a third album stuffed with hooky charm, weirdo skits and knockabout Ramones-meet-Jilted-John razor punk. Anyone who's encountered the duo of Holly Ross and David Blackwell before will have a pretty fair idea of what's coming here - it's more of the same following 2009's If You Were Fruit and 2011's Cob Dominos - while for newcomers this is as good a place to jump on board as any.
The Lovely Eggs are very much a world view - singing in their own accent, writing lyrics about dinner, animals, boyfriends, teeth, scooters and tempering their odder tendencies with a strong working class aesthetic and a home-made, DIY ethos. And if that all sounds a little bit tweecore, singer/guitarist Ross is far too fond of her distortion pedal to let things go too far in the direction of cupcakes and Etsy handbags. Behind the sweetness and the skits Lovely Eggs make a bloody racket, informed by 90's US alt punks like Mudhoney and Hole with the wit of Magnetic Fields and and the manners of Hilda Ogden.
What's more they can really nail a proper pop tune. Opener 'Allergies' is as good a slice of grungey new wave as you'll find anywhere while 'Green Beans' is built around a primitive riff worthy of the White Stripes. Best of all is 'Food', it's the kind of cheeky popcore Kenickie used to make before Lauren Laverne got all talky on us. A belter.
Where some listeners will come unstuck will be the 'funny ones', which depend somewhat on your tolerance for mini-sketches and daft one-liners stuck in records. They're harmless enough, and mostly they're rather sweet - it would take a hard heart not to crack a smile at the eight second 'David's Turn', or the list-and-punchline 'Idiot Check'. The slightly odder moments won't be for everyone, the sing-song nursery rhymeish 'Cigarettes ' for example or its close cousin 'Wildlife', but for many the audible smile in Ross's voice is enough to warm their weirder extremes.
Undercutting the laughs is surprisingly downbeat closing section starting with 'William Tell's' scorched feedback, even if it does revolve around a weakish pun ("William Tell, what a grass, don't tell William,") and leading into the scratchy lo-fi 'We Really Got It', which could have come from Graham Coxon's early career. Closer 'The Castle' builds an almost mournful, medieval melody into a fuzzy drone, it's an odd but welcome turn for a record that at first glance could lack depth.
It's hard to argue that Wildlife is an album of universal appeal - it's way too odd, messy and loud for that. But Ross and Blackwell are surely fully aware of their niche appeal, and it's doubtful they care a fig. If a blending of Monty Python, Coronation Street and the Buzzcocks is a thought that warms your cockles, you'll find plenty to enjoy here.