Egyptian Blue: Body of Itch EP (Yala!) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 8th, 2020  

Egyptian Blue

Body of Itch EP

Yala!

May 14, 2020 Web Exclusive
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If there’s a more irritating genre descriptive than post-punk, I’ve yet to see it. “Deep house” (does that make the polar opposite shallow house?) may give it a run for its money. But if we’re going to be pedantic, then shouldn’t everything that came after punk—anything that wasn’t directly associated with that movement from 1976 onwards—be labeled post-punk? Imagine if everything had its own post-movement. Post-New Wave of New Wave anyone? Post-grime? Post-metal? There already is such a thing? Okay.

It’s a ludicrous genre that seems to encompass any act with at least one guitar (mostly detuned) among its army of instruments. The avant-garde is now an arrière-garde,” declared Simon Reynolds. He should probably know better than anyone, having written Rip It Up, the definitive guide to all things post-punk. So maybe a more accurate genre descriptive would be progressive punk? After all, a genre or movement can only go so far without becoming a repetitive pastiche of itself. Indeed, there have been several times in recent years where post-punk has been in danger of jumping the shark, artists who have brought nothing new to the table except an extensive reverie of reference points alongside their older cool uncle’s record collection.

Thankfully, there are still a handful that stand out for the right reasons, which is as good a time as any to introduce Egyptian Blue. Hailing from Brighton, one of the UK’s cultural hotbeds when it comes to artistic and musical innovation, they haven’t been together very long yet are already gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the city in years. While it’s still the early days of their fledgling careers, the three songs that make up Body of Itch suggest they’re a band brimming with ideas and ambition.

Indeed, it’s that ambitious nature that places them way higher than many of their contemporaries. Sure, Egyptian Blue like Wire in the same way Elastica or Bloc Party does. Wire are an obvious juncture for any forward-thinking guitar band, mainly because no two of their records ever sounded the same throughout their four decades of existence. So, while Body of Itch might only clock in at nine and a half minutes total, it’s difficult to envisage its creators standing still and mining the same well for inspiration longer than necessary either.

Hot on the heels of last year’s debut EP, Collateral Damage, all three songs bode well for the next installment. Whether it be the sharp shock of “Nylon Wire,” introspective “Four Is the Last Four,” or polemic closer “Never.” The future looks bright, particularly this shade of Egyptian Blue. (www.facebook.com/egyptianblueinc/)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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