A sample of a Swiss children’s orchestra – resplendent with choir and accordion – opens With Gusto and, if not forewarned, you could be forgiven for suspecting your Bluetooth speaker’s been hijacked.
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Then – just in case you’re not already familiar with Eggy’s wild-and-woolly sonic aesthetic – ‘Begin At The End’ is attacked by sax before multiple instruments reintroduce synchronised, syncopated grooves to bring it home.
Lead single ‘A Toast To Your Good Health’ derails from the get-go, but really flies its freak flag around the halfway mark when the arrangement strips right back to just cabasa accents: “Go to the party/ Get dressed up” – these fun-activity suggestions, repeated in robotic fashion, soon become unwelcome commands. Percussive panting enlivens ‘Fill In The Blanks’ and this song’s outro – which conjures gremlins trashing the studio – is just about as madcap as Eggy gets. “Off to the shops with a hop-and-skip-and-jump…” – ‘The Luckiest Girl In The World’ calls to mind a hapless victim in a fairytale, blissfully unaware of their impending doom. That is until a flurry of strings swarm the scene, like an unprovoked bee attack.
Wait, did we just hear humans barking like dogs to open ‘Gold And/Or Silver’? Shouldn’t be at all surprised, really, since this quintet traditionally laugh in the face of convention. ‘Magic 8 Ball’ opens with what sounds like a UFO hovering overhead. Then enter a sample of an astrological reading (for Geminis), feedback squall, jaunty drumming, limber, hypnotic bass – all within the song’s first 15 seconds or so!
You’ve quite possibly clocked some of Eggy’s players cross-pollinating in the various other local outfits of interest: Dominic Moore also contributes to Kosmetika’s fuzz-soaked indie stylings, Zoe Monk is one of The Stroppies and you may recognise Sam Lyons from House Deposit (which is a lousy band name to Google, BTW) .
If you find yourself scratching your noggin wondering, ‘WTF?’ after giving With Gusto a spin, then you’re certainly not alone. But also, something tells me this out-there Melbourne collective wouldn’t have it any other way. Eggy aim to “forge a sound that is at once fascinating and disconcerting”. Mission accomplished then, legends! More playful than self-indulgent, With Gusto intrigues at every turn and you simply cannot argue with that. Or the irrefutable fact that there ain’t nothing beige about Eggy.
Label: Flightless Records
Release date: 22 July