Eagulls frontman George Mitchell has a bit of a bee in his bonnet. He's tired of people lugging the Leeds based 5-piece into the category of post-punk, or anything with a post prefix at all to be honest. I can sympathise to be honest; recently I saw The Strokes described as 'Post Garage Wave Revival'. Maybe this whole genre thing has gone a bit too far.

The problem is their self-titled debut, which came out in 2014, was very post-punk. It was loud and aggressive, but drenched in reverb. It had huge, low-slung basslines and punishing power chords. There were obviously a huge amount of influences contained within the album but, if you boiled them all down, post-punk was an easy tag to stick on it.

New album Ullages is different though, the first album's aggression has been shed. Even on just a cursory listen, the biggest difference lies in the instrumentation being allowed to breathe, focussing on melody rather than punishing chords. Mitchell's voice has changed as well, like someone has sanded down his vocal cords, making them smooth and dynamic.

This new sound though has drawn another easy comparison, one that again the band find reductive. But it can't be denied. The band do, at times on the new record, sound uncannily like The Cure. Whether it's Mitchell's softer vocals making him sound like Robert Smith at his most strained, or the swirling, chorus-heavy guitars, the comparison is undeniable. I agree with Eagulls though; to simply slap this tag on the album is to ignore all the other components that make it brilliant.

Opener 'Heads or Tails' blows this comparison immediately out of the water. The menacingly picked guitar combines with heavy, tribal drumming that finds Mitchell singing "So flip a coin in the dark tonight." It's the perfect way to open this new chapter; a song with completely different dynamics to anything else they've have done before, with the band inviting you take a chance before enveloping you in their newer, darker, world.

One criticism that could be levelled at their self-titled debut was that it could be very flat. Yes it was visceral, passionate punk, but it was very often little else. Tracks could blend into each other if you weren't paying attention. Ullages tackles this perfectly, with changes in tempo, dynamics and instrumentation giving the album space to breathe. What they haven't dropped though is their ability to create a chorus. 'Skipping' is easily one of the album's highpoints. As XTC style phased hi-hats and an apocalyptically low bassline combine, guitars slide in and out of earshot, part Smiths part Sonic Youth. "All I ever wanted was an answer," Mitchell purrs, "and all I ever got was just a broken record skipping." You can hear the old bile and bite in his voice, just simmering below the surface, but the control and beauty that he delivers the lines turns this anger into pure melancholy.

'Aisles' is possibly the closest you'll get to an Eagulls ballad. It finds Mitchell heartbroken, with shimmering The Jesus & Mary Chain guitars. It exposes a far more vulnerable, introspective version of Eagulls, one that is able to find beauty in the mundane.

Whatever you want to label or compare it to, Ullages is an exciting step forward into new territories for Eagulls. They haven't changed their sound, more developed it. They've kept the rawness, the pop songwriting and uncompromising attitude but pushed it sonically further than many would have ever expected them to.