The Lovely Eggs are married couple David Blackwell and ex-Angelica frontwoman Holly Ross. After charming the trousers off us last year with their five track EP Have You Ever Heard The Lovely Eggs?, the Lancastrian spouses have returned, this time with their debut full-length which they apparently recorded “while eating a lot of cheese and vegetable samosas”. There’s nothing nightmarish here though. Sharing vocal duties and incorporating their love of found and homemade instruments, If You Were Fruit sees the couple continuing their gloriously unique balance of thrashy, riot grrl chords and ramshackle, psychedelic noise with 14 lovingly composed originals.
If You Were Fruit revels in the Eggs’ fascination with animals, food and other lowbrow subjects, which become wonderfully animated when heard through the surreal filter of their endearing kook-punk. Cooking for sharks and having tea with rodents in ‘Mices’, time travel in ‘Have You Ever Heard A Digital Accordion?’ and tattooing lemons with obscenities in the wonderfully unpredictable ‘O Death’, the Eggs delight in the lyrically fantastical. Their skill for leaping from melodic lo-fi to abrasive, Sonic Youth-like thrash is flawless, and their multi-instrumental talents (check out the accordion on ‘Big Red Car’) reveal a band with eclectic skills.
The unrestrained sense of fun on If You Were Fruit is an approach often reflected in their live shows; a performance at last year’s Ladyfest in Manchester saw them cross-dressing as each other, lining the stage with carved pumpkin lanterns and handing out homemade toffees to the crowd. Their totally unpretentious approach to music is part of their charm, and yet their adventurous storytelling is shot through with obvious care and thought for melodies, rhythms and structure. From acoustic to folk, and grunge to psychedelic, the album manages to collage many styles into one, delightfully sprawling yarn.
If it’s not always clear what the Eggs are singing about – olives that turn into constellations in ‘Oh The Stars’ or words of bereavement and love told through fruit metaphors in the title track – at least we can acknowledge that this is half the fun. The couple’s obvious in-jokes and anecdotes shine with an easy-going, lighthearted warmth that could win over even the grumpiest listener. A delicious debut from a very lovely duo, If You Were Fruit stands a good chance of garnering attention from a mainstream press that’s showing an increasing enthusiasm for quirky, niche outfits; although it’s probably safe to assume that Blackwell and Ross are having far too much fun in their wonderful Egg universe to really care.
Charlotte Richardson Andrews
UK release date: 01/06/09; www.myspace.com/thelovelyeggs
If You Were Fruit EPK
‘Have You Ever Heard A Digital Accordion?’