As history tells us, punk and rock music are all about rebellion, controversy and sticking it ‘to the man’. And that seems to be the name of the game for opinionated Leeds five-piece Eagulls, who have tried their hand at covering the Killing Jokes ‘requiem’.
Thundered through in brash style, the band supply the electronic-filled bursts and plucky-riffs that made the original version such a cult hit. Vocalist George Mitchell’s vocal range falls almost in same patterns as the Killing Jokes Jaz Coleman, as he coughs out the throaty lyrics “the clock keeps on ticking / he doesn’t know why”. A slight increase in the tempo of the song, however, stands out as the only noticeable change from the original that the band has made. Compressed, layered and chunked out, the cover knocks out virtually no innovation, in stark and surprising contrast to their own song-writing.
And that’s a shame. For a band which have such a abrasive attitude and sound, one can only speculate what could have been done with this cover. Instead of manipulating the track into their own post-punk fabrication, Eagulls have barely made a scratch on the surface of a song that was dying to be dissected and re-shaped into something spectacular. Although the quality of the band lies untouched as they gather momentum and publicity, Eagulls covers of the Killing Jokes ‘requiem’ comprises nothing more than a lack of imagination.