EP Review: Egyptian Blue – Collateral Damage

Egyptian Blue were formed at Colchester college by lifelong friends Buss and Ambrose. With Phelps they practiced above a jewellery shop and early jams often devolved into marathon sessions of fourteen hours or more, made all the more chaotic by the amount of whisky they’d share as well as the growing attention of the local police.

A turning point for the band was seeing a King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard gig after their relocation to Brighton. For the band, seeing an act that were so well-drilled made them rethink the work ethic that their own project required. Hence, the recent addition of Isaac Ide on drums also inspired a darker, more intense direction for the band, together with a fresh rush of creativity.

Egyptian Blue’s debut EP Collateral Damage arrived this month alongside an anxiety-fulled new video, directed by Jonathan Waller. The EP is released under a new deal with Yala! Records, the label co-founded by former Maccabee Felix White and home to the likes of The Magic Gang and Willie J Healey.

Inspired by the likes of Gang of Four, Preoccupations and early Foals, Egyptian Blue have earned airplay from Huw Stephens, Jack Saunders, Steve Lamacq with recent single ‘Collateral’ making it on to the 6 Music Playlist. The EP itself is nothing short of a small masterpiece of post-punk bass throbs and guitar stabs.

Opener ‘Collateral’ has stabbing and duelling guitar play with noisy blasts. A great throbbing and driving bass adds to the immediacy of the track. The lyrics and vocal delivery add to the incredibly economic sound that Egyptian Blue play with. They do a lot with not very much and this should be applauded. ‘To Be Felt’ has a brilliant simplistic riff runs throughout this (again) big song which has so much happening throughout it, yet is surprisingly sparse in the sum of its parts. Just brilliant vocals on top of caustic guitar and almost tribal percussion.

‘Contain it’ has a driving bass and guitar start that runs into an addictive spiky and at times very playful and impossibly addictive and groove filled track. Try keeping still to this. I dare you. At times sounding like Talking Heads, this track is a potential dance floor filler for indie discos up and down the country. Final track ‘Adderall’ is another great track based around barbed instrumentation and barking vocals. And once again, what a tune! The capacity for this band to produce tunes that are occasionally noisy and visceral affairs based around solid bass and drums onslaughts is astounding and I fucking love it.

What a band. I can’t wait to hear what Egyptian Blue have coming up next.

Review by Ioan Humphreys

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