|Eureka Machines - 'Champion The Underdog' (Wrath Records)|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Monday, 25 April 2011 05:00|
Why aren't Eureka Machines absolutely massive? Why don't magazines rave about Eureka Machines? I'm at a loss too and if I knew why I'd probably be more successful than Simon Cowell and we'd see better bands reaching out and getting the exposure they deserve.....and one of those would easily be Eureka Machines.
Championing the underdog is exactly what I'm going to attempt right here, right now and, when you've read it, you can damned well go and purchase this album or you'll be missing out big time on one of the most entertaining and special bands the UK has to offer right now.
Eureka Machines are often hard to pigeon hole, with such diverse influences covering loads of styles from pop to rock and everything in between. I'd need a page and a half if I were to list snippets of influences I've noticed but that's the beauty of bands as masterful of their craft as Eureka Machines, that they can magpie so much and bloody well pull it off. Possibly encapsulating the primary ethos of what Uber Rock stands for - a shining diamond in a sea of shit - Eureka Machines deserve the attention and you need to wake up if you haven't checked them out yet - we have warned you!
Anyway.... Kicking off with 'Champion The Underdog', the title track is a riff-heavy romp with a catchy chorus, clever lyrics and is as complete a pop-driven hard rock opener as you'd hear anywhere. They've lost none of that sharp wit and humour in the lyrics either; where else are you going to have the lyrical couplets on offer half way through this track - Basil Fawlty, Monty Brewster, all the Ramones and Fred Dibnah? Pure genius, Mr Catalyst - tres bien monsieur, tres bien. From the blazing opener the bar is set higher than Mr Cowell's waistband and what follows certainly doesn't disappoint because next up is the lead single 'These Are The People Who Live In My House'. With a scrumptious riff that makes way for some agit pop that XTC or Mr Costello and his Attractions would write, the chorus is catchy as the story unfolds to the backbeat and thumping bass line; a proper single if there is still such a thing in music - bop 'til you drop people, bop 'til you drop! 'Magnets' has a melody on the verses that tickles your cranium and you just want to play it over and over, this is after '(I'm) Wasting My Time (Yet Again)' has stomped its way through your lug holes with a tune that had Ginger written it Wildhearts fans would be wetting their collective panties over - it's that good, honest!
It's hard to believe that this is a band only on their second album, and to follow the criminally underrated 'Do Or Die' with such a monolithic beast as this is some achievement. When you reach the middle of the album you are met with the ambitious 'Godot's Arrived', with its progressive (in the best possible way, I'm not talking Yes or ELP here folks) sound spread over five-plus minutes as the album gets a little serious (if that's possible). 'Professional Crastinator' had me making notes when I had it on the headphones that read "Mansun" and that's possibly due to the brave arrangements of the piano outro of 'Godot's Arrived' and definitely in the delivery of 'Professional Crastinator', from the opening guitar effect and riff to the pace and style of the song - sure, it's not instantly poppy like the first single but it's a monster of a track that is brooding and has a menace about it which shows another side to Eureka Machines.
The album then takes a shift in gear with something of a mellow drift with 'Everything's Fine' that shows these boys have just about everything in their locker as the song builds and broods towards the chorus with its vocal harmony as it gently returns back into the verse. 'The Best Night Of My Life' is back up to speed with some great vocals from Chris Catalyst and the song is pure power pop perfection. 'Begining Of The End Of The World' sees the bass and drum verse wander into a crunching chorus and has touches of Morrissey (don't laugh) in the vocal delivery. The penultimate track, 'Zero Hero', sees the band turn in a mighty eight minute-plus monster. Building like The Mission's 'Tower Of Strength' it quickly gives way to another mighty riff as the band straddle the beast and ride around the stereo until you reach the midway stage and we return to the tribal drumming and some neat arrangements with a hypnotic guitar lick before we're back into that riff again, layered with the now familiar harmonised vocals, exhausting stuff. Which only leaves the final track, 'A Ballad To Finish', and we're back to the clever lyrics wrapped up in another superbly crafted tune.
A mention has to go to the production handled so well by Jase Edwards which really does this record justice. Buy 'Champion The Underdog' or I'll send the people who live in their house round to squat at yours until you relent and let Eureka Machines into your life. On this kind of form Eureka Machines won't be underdogs for very long but they most certainly will be champions. Excellent!