By Fraser Bryce
Strathclyde Telegraph readers, I am here to tell you about the best band you’ve never heard of. That band is Leeds based pop and rollers Eureka Machines. The band, formed in 2007 by Sisters of Mercy/Ginger Wildheart guitarist Chris Catalyst, are now on their fourth album, their second to be released via Pledgemusic. Before its release, the band hailed the album as the best they’ve ever done, and, based on the impossibly high quality of the last three, that’s quite a feat.
So, did they deliver? They did. By the bucket load.
From the fast paced opener ‘Paranoia’, it’s clear that Eureka Machines have hit their peak. The sound is slicker, the musicianship tighter, the choruses bigger. The punky as Hell ‘Television’ and the slightly wacky ‘Sleep Deprivation’ reflect the band’s punk edge, without sacrificing any of their trademark vocal harmonies. The title track is not only one of the finest pop songs I’ve heard in ages, but serves as a wonderful ode to being an outcast, with Catalyst singing “Being normal is overrated/Am I ordinary/Or the weirdest guy I know?” The following track, ‘Human’ is a bruising punk rock song that the Ramones would have been proud to call their own. ‘Every Day I Thank The World I Cut You Off’ is slightly more mellow, but its soaring bridge section and quite brilliant lyrics (“It’s better to fuck off than fade away” is a personal favourite) make it easily one of the best tracks the band have done. And they’ve got some brilliant songs.
At this point, the album has more than enough quality tracks, and you kind of find yourself hoping they’d put a few stinkers on so you could listen to other music without going “It’s good, but it’s not Brain Waves”. But that is not how Eureka Machines work. Lead single “Welcome To My Shangri-La” is an instant classic, with a chorus that is begging to be sang at the top of your lungs, and “Nuero Bolero” is a sure-fire live favourite.
The two tracks that close the album: ‘I Miss You’ and ‘We’re Going To The Future’ are the best songs this band have ever produced, with the former track being full of crunchy guitars and luscious harmonies with a vocal performance so epic it apparently relocated Chris Catalyst’s jaw, and the closing track is a seven minute anthem, complete with a stadium sized chorus and an epic key change.
This is Eureka Machines’ best album by a country mile, and cements their status as the best underground band in Britain. In other circumstances, this album would have been a world-beater, seeing the band bringing their energetic live shows to megadomes across the world, but the music industry is a heartless bitch, and their upcoming UK tour, which will no doubt sell out, is in venues a far cry from where this band should be playing. But Eureka Machines embody all that is great about music, and their DIY attitude allows the band a creative freedom that groups on major labels would kill for. This album is a testament to their brilliance. Long may they continue.