From her passionate performances to her Famous Swords production collective, Eula frontwoman Alyse Lamb has been renewing our faith in New York’s art-punk scene for several years now. A tightly wound masterpiece of yin and yang, Eula’s debut LP, Maurice Narcisse (2011), was even more impressive for the fact that the band recorded and released it without support from a label. Four years later, the trio of Lamb, Stephen Reader (drums), and Jeff Maleri (bass) is set to release sophomore full-length Wool Sucking under the umbrella of Famous Swords (March 3) as well as on tape via Mirror Universe, and “Like No Other” is an early glimpse of what to expect on the album.
Placed at Wool Sucking‘s midpoint, “Like No Other” opens a cappella, foregrounding Lamb’s unhinged quaver before the rhythm section comes pounding in with negative space to spare. Like most Eula songs, it incorporates shades of postpunk, no wave, and riot grrrl without sounding like anyone else. It’s easy to hear why they recorded the album with accomplished producer Martin Bisi (Swans, Sonic Youth); the song falls into a nauseous, lurching groove familiar to anyone who’s picked up a Swans record.
Thematically, Lamb seems to be exploring the character of “woman made monstrous by her own intensity of feeling.” Escalating promises of “I could love you like no other/Like a mother” and exhortations that “you need to come through” are equal parts anxious and menacing. Is Lamb the victim or the danger? By the time her Goth confection of a guitar solo bleeds things to a conclusion, it’s pretty clear the answer is “both.”
Eula play an album release show at Palisades at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, with No Bra, Martin Bisi, Algis Kizys (Swans), and Bob Bert (Sonic Youth).