I had the pleasure of seeing Egyptian Blue for the first time at Portsmouth Psych Fest 2019 back in May, and they really made a great impression on me; tight as anything, passionate, and with a real sense of abrasive post punk urgency.
This eagerly awaited EP continues to favour those first impressions, and with the accompanying video to ‘Collateral’, it’s obvious that they are capitalising on the punchy, anxious mood they generate, visualised by a disorientating happy/worried self-chase scene across a depressing urban sprawl (this will make sense if you watch it). A little research reveals that the song (and video) is inspired about by person suffering from social anxiety.
Across each track there are simple yet addictive bass hooks (Luke Phelps) and hypnotic drumbeats (Isaac Ide), which anchor the superbly disciplined guitars up to a point, when occasionally all hell breaks loose in a psych frenzy, before being reigned tightly in again by that superb bass. They seem to have found the perfect blend of both chaos and discipline, which is their greatest draw for me. It’s a schizophrenia that again is reflected in the ‘Collateral’ video.
Egyptian Blue’s glorious noise in places reminds me of Setting Sons era Jam in the way that the building blocks build up a sound and attitude that seem larger than the sum of its parts. The staccato lyrics (shared by Andy Buss and Leith Ambrose) crown this perfectly, and by the third track ‘Contain It’, this winning combination almost reaches the minimalism of The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’, before spiralling off again into a glory of psych fuzz.
It’s a close call but Collateral wins favourite track on the EP by being the most succinct and capturing the ‘less is more’ angsty perfection that the band sometimes seem to be aiming for, but each song on here is a belter and none outstay their welcome. You can tell these guys are having fun – all four tracks are just so full of gritty vitality.
Egyptian Blue deserve to do well, and I hope they are around for a long while to come – here’s to their show at The Servant jazz Quarters in October!
Tracks: 1 Collateral
2 To Be Felt
3 Contain It
Egyptian Blue are:
Luke Phelps – bass
Andy Buss – guitar / vocals
Leith Ambrose – guitar / vocals
Isaac ide – drums