On the strength of my adoration for their 2018 Mama Pancake release and upon hearing that they were working upon new material, I tried to sign Eggs on Mars for this blog’s Subjangle label…it was not to be though as they decided (upon my advice…damned you, you honest fool!) to sign with Jigsaw, one of the few bigger labels that still have a heart that beats along to the beat of many a genuine underdog band.
So here it is their Jigsaw release…and of course it is great. Different, but great. The primary difference is that the vibrant surfy inflections of their previous four albums has largely disappeared and has been replaced with a more mature, kind of Aussie understated Triple J aesthetic.
As such we see tracks like the superlative Many Small Towns (see below), People Pleasing, Spacey Stacey II and I Can Always Be The Sunshine, twist various isolated jangled riffs through hushed, subdued vocals that feel as though a priest is being visited for confessional whilst the repentant party does not really know if he has been naughty enough to repent?
There is just that slight sense of vocal/lyrical uncertainty and reduced vibrancy that has always been appealing when spliced through a jangle-pop vibe (Triple J / Dunedin / C86 / todays Melbourne scene etc ).
Of course there are times when the jangle has to breakthrough, for a band like Eggs on Mars simply cannot truly ignore their past that is bedecked with all manner of crystalline guitar work and as such the introductory riffs of the album’s true stand out Porch Tune (see below) and Where To Start pay homage to the purest of Byrdsisms.
Perhaps this is the album where Eggs on Mars decided to allow the concept of adulthood to engulf their previous playfulness…but they are all the better for it!