I found The Lovely Eggs’ music charming when I first heard their early recordings a little over a decade back. Married couple Holly Ross (guitar/vocals) and David Blackwell (drums) landed on a winning formula of ramshackle punk rock, made unique by Ross’ snarky lyrics and unapologetically British accent. Compared to her, Liam Gallagher sounds like a Texas hillbilly. What I liked most was that, their songs were rudimentary, yet still somehow sounded like they were teetering on the edge of falling apart – like one missed drum beat could just grind the whole thing to a screeching halt at any given moment.
Fast forward to 2018, and The Lovely Eggs, now something of a cult success in England, are back with their self-released fifth full-length album, This is Eggland. Ross and Blackwell are still very much themselves on this album – there’s cheeky songs with titles like “Dickhead” and “Would You Fuck” (though, in Ross’ hands a more accurate title may have been “Would You Fook”), and they still run zero risk of being confused with The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Outside of those constants, The Lovely Eggs beefed up their sound considerably for this release. First, they have Dave Fridmann producing, which is a major coup for the band. After all he’s produced major albums from indie institutions like Spoon, The Flaming Lips, and Low, though I’ll always remember him most fondly as a member of Mercury Rev. Fridmann really goes to town here, adding all kinds of reverb, tape loops and stereo panning effects to fill in the empty spaces previously found between the guitar and drums. The instruments themselves sound like they’ve been souped up too – giving every song an anthemic quality that practically sounds genetically engineered for European festival circuit crowds. The new sheen sounds amazing on each of This Is Eggland’s eleven songs. I especially like “Wiggy Giggy”, which is basically The Lovely Eggs’ “Ca Plane Por Moi”, and the aforementioned “Dickhead”, which segues between Cramps-y garage stomp and ’90s Buzz Bin-era alternative rock at breakneck speed. The problem is that, over the course of 40 minutes the album’s unrelenting pumped up sound is a bit fatiguing on the ears. Picture listening to a brickwalled chorus of “Gigantic” by The Pixies for 2/3 of an hour and that’s pretty much how you feel after spending time in Eggland. Nevertheless, these are wildly fun songs for serious times, and totally worth seeking out.