Friday, 1 May 2015

Art of the Cover - EULA's "Wool Sucking" (2015)

Wool Sucking cover art

can you handle nasty weather?

It’s easy to make assumptions about Brooklyn trio EULA based on the company they keep: They’ve been a regular opening act for Mission of Burma and recorded their latest album with NYC underground vet Martin Bisi (who had a hand in the nastiest Sonic Youth and Swans records), while frontwoman Alyse Lamb recently extolled the virtues of Lydia Lunch on Michael Azerrad’s site The Talkhouse.

And it’s a rather fortuitous coincidence that the band’s scabrous sophomore album, Wool Sucking, should drop at the same time that Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band hit shelves to re-stoking interest in the early ’80s East Coast avant-punk scene to which EULA pledge spiritual allegiance.

But just as New York is a vastly different place than it was 30 years ago, EULA put a friendly face on an aesthetic synonymous with self-loathing nihilism. They may be trudging through the same sewers as their forbears, but they’re greatful for the sunlight poking through the grates.

Wool Sucking is, in essence, an album of love songs, though Lamb isn’t so much interested in communicating passion as transmitting what it does to you physiologically—the destabilizing sense of vulnerability, the sweaty-palmed nervousness, the heart-racing agitation.

At times, EULA’s impulsive energy can manifest into ineffectual thrashing “Aplomb”), but, in light of their more scattered 2011 debut, Maurice Narcisse - which absorbed influences from disco to cow-punk - Wool Sucking wisely focuses on what the band do best: writhing rockers and disquieting, oddly affecting ballads.

In the latter mode, not only do EULA project a surprising emotional depth, but—through the deceptively calm pastorales of “The Destroyer” and “Monument”—also liberate themselves from the New York skronk-punk tradition to which they’re so often tied.

And the quieter presentation only amplifies the symbiotic relationship between desire and destruction that forms the core of this album.

When Lamb sings, “I will take your beat/ If you will take my heart” on the chilling, dying-embered torch song “Your Beat”, you’re not sure if she’s exchanging wedding vows or forging a sick suicide pact.


1. Noose 03:04
2. I Collapse 02:51
3. Little Hearts 03:19
4. Orderly 02:46
5. The Destroyer 04:06
6. Like No Other 02:30
7. Your Beat 03:44
8. Aplomb 02:50
9. Meadows 01:52
10. Monument 03:50

All songs written by Alyse Lamb & performed by EULA 
Recorded & mixed by Martin Bisi @ BC Studios [Brooklyn NY]

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