The Lovely Eggs – If You Were Fruit

The Lovely Eggs - If You Were Fruit

Lancaster, England-based Holly and David of The Lovely Eggs know how to pack a tin full of sonic sardines, as they do on If You Were Fruit, where they stuff the U.S. release of their debut album with 19 yummy morsels (14 from the studio album, plus 5 lip-smacking cuts off their U.K.-released EPs).

The guitar-based indie rockers and ballads are generally a cross between feisty, riot grrrl sing-alongs and cute-as-a-button rambling where Holly and David utilize a plethora of acoustic to electric instruments to bring their slightly off-kilter creations to life.

Main singer Holly charms with her perkily-enunciated British accent and enthusiastic vocal delivery, while David adds his deadpan tones to certain songs, providing a pleasantly laid-back foil to Holly’s more spirited take.  The songs range in theme from eclectic ideas to everyday concerns, like a fondness for specific animals and foods (and the artist Jon Carling) to sitting on a cushion and doing various activities to, well, issues of life, love, and death.

Distorted guitar riffs and drum ‘n’ cymbal crash rage through “I Like Birds but I Like Other Animals Too”, but the pummeling is off-set by Holly’s sweetly innocent vocal melodies as she matter-of-factly makes her way through fanciful animal, food, and romantic imagery, tossing out phrases like “the watermelon state of your mind”, “a clover leaf tied in my mouth”, and “bird song tweet of your heart”.  “Mices” is a killer track, starting off quite innocently, with Holly’s winsome vocal delivery that belies the fact that something a bit more sinister is afoot.  The lyrics focus on mice until thrashing guitars suddenly roil the waters of the chorus, as Holly reveals there are sharks in the water.  Oh, poor, defenseless mice, but it’s quite exciting for the listener.

There are quieter moments on the album, like “Where’s My Animal?” where Holly sings in a delicate, hushed tone amid plucked acoustic guitar, a muffled low-key beat, and David’s occasional vocal accompaniment.  Another softer number is “If You Were Fruit”.  A soda can being popped open starts the song and leads to subdued harmonica notes, metal ‘n’ glass tinkering and tapping, and the complex lyrics “If you were an apple then I’d want to be at your core / and find out about all the things that you were fighting for.”

“ODeath” alternates between calm passages where Holly sing-talks demurely amid sprinkles of chime, low-key bass, and slow-hit drums, and agitated heavy metal guitar riffage and distressed exclamations.  “Have You Ever Heard a Digital Accordion?” is a standout track that combines the DIY, plucky charm of bright, sing-song vocals and cheeky lyrics about accordions, scorpions, and…yes, beef bourguignon (love the British accent on that word), with a sudden descent into a shouty, discordant inferno of chaos at the end of the tune.

The rambling, lyrics-heavy, and highly amusing “Baulk Cushion” features Holly and David taking turns on sing-talking vocals, accompanied by all sorts of funny sonic accents that go along with the words.  It’s a bit repetitive since all the sentences end with “…on the baulk cushion.”, but what can be done on it is really eye-opening.   For instance, “flying kites”, “driving fast cars” (replete with engine start up), eating cheese and drinking red wine (with an added slurp), “trimming up your beard” (as scissors snip away), and even “washing down dogs” (complete with dog barks) can all be accomplished whilst sitting on the baulk cushion.  Who would’ve known?!!

As for the bonus tracks, The Lovely Eggs kick it old-school riot grrrl style on “I Want to be Your Fire” as “Good, golly!  Miss Holly” hollers up a storm amid a throwdown of punk-hoedown rhythm, distorted guitar, and drum and cymbal smash.  Holly speedily spouts the lyrics “I can do what you do / I want to be in a band / I want to play a guitar… / I’m gonna be a star.”  The lengthy titled “I Want to Fall Off My Bike Today” is ultra-short at under one minute and has a garage rock motif of guitar and drums.

The oddity “I Collect Snails” is a twee charmer with bright notes, recorder toots, and wiry guitar strum, although David and Holly overlap so completely on competing vocals that it’s hard to pull the lyrics out.   They sing-talk about all the things they collect, like snails, horses (really?), shoes, telephones, matchbooks, cassette tapes, wheels, sequins, watches, windows…