The intriguing name Egg In The Sink is the stage name for singer-songwriter, Gowain McKenna from Belfast. If you didn’t know he was from here, you could be forgiven for pegging him as from N.E. England say, Liverpool or Manchester. This E.P. has echoes of bands like Echo & The Bunnymen from the early 80’s or The Las from the early ’90’s. Gowain labels himself as Alternative Folk, but I’m not really hearing folk at all in what is on offer here, and wonder if that is just a trendy tag to have at present. What I hear is old school, lo-fi Brit Pop, with its laid back, almost morose feel and a vocal style not a million miles away from Richard Ashcroft.
This is a very listenable E.P. All three songs as strong as eachother in terms of composition and how well they stay in the brain after a few listens. ‘Taste The Wine (Magic Pancake)’ perhaps wins in terms of memorability, though that is perhaps due to the slight, fleeting similarity in some parts with Coldplay’s, ‘The Scientist’. ‘What Is Fair In Love (Is Far In War)’ is perhaps the most poignant lyrically.
Every artist has to start somewhere and get their music recorded and out there into the harsh glare of the public. As his first E.P. McKenna has not disgraced himself that is for sure. I’m not a particular fan of the name but hey, names will always be criticised no matter how good they seem at the time. I am also not sure about the continued use of brackets in every song title although maybe that is just a coincidence. I hope so, because to me it gives off an air of trying to be too quirky, when his material isn’t quirky, it is actually quite serious.
Northern Ireland has a plethora of singer-songwriters and the standard is very, very high across the board. So, while being a one-man-band may help McKenna get lots of slots here and there in terms of live work – and it is great to have those opportunities – he is going to have to go some to really get noticed; to impose his character upon the scene. I would also like to hear a change of pace and feel across 3 songs. I don’t mean 3 songs in totally eclectic/different styles, just some sort of change of gear or texture so that listening to the 3 songs doesn’t sound like listening to one really long song.
But well done on this first attempt and I am sure you will get a chance to hear and see Egg In The Sink at a singer-songwriter night in a bar near you very soon.