Album Review: Eureka Machines – “Champion The Underdog”
There’s your review in one short easy to use sentence. For the longer version, see below…
Following up their first record “Do Or Die” (in this reviewer’s humble opinion, one of the strongest debut albums in recent years) was always gonna be difficult but the Eureka Machines have made it look as easy as falling off a log. The key is keeping all the crucial elements that made their debut such a great record and building on them.
It all kicks in with the title track which you’ll already know about if you’ve seen the band live in the last year or so. It mixes in all that’s great about this group (quirky melodies, big singalong chorus), adds in some lyrics which namecheck everyone from Jilted John to Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards to Fred Dibnah and mixes it together to create a cracking opener. Previous single “These Are The People Who Live In My House” follows it and keeps to the singalong pop-punk with a twist template as does “I’m Wasting My Time Yet Again”. But just when you think you’ve got this album nailed, the group sling in the first of many curveballs with the more reflective “Magnets”.
And from thereon in, the surprises just keep coming. “Professional Crastinator” sounds like a much much heavier distant cousin of the Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” with its distorted guitars and yelping vocals. Then there’s the sublime Beach Boys harmonies of “The Best Night Of My Life” and the dark and twisted break-up lament of “Everything’s Fine” to keep you guessing.
It all builds to the epic eight minute plus anti-fame rant that is “Zero Hero” which could have easily been an unreleased track from the Wildhearts’ experimental “Fishing For Luckies” album and is probably the most ambitious (and also one of the best) things the Eureka Machines have ever done. All of which leaves the bitter acoustic lament of “A Ballad To Finish” to gently guide you in to the end of the album and a fantastic 50 minutes. Album of the year? Well, put it this way, it’ll certainly be up there.
“This won’t propel us to rock stardom and stadium headliners but it might just put a smile on your face and a spring in your step” claims Eurekas’ frontman Chris Catalyst on the press release. Really, he’s being much too modest. If there’s any justice, this should be the album that finally breaks down the walls and makes the world sit up and take notice of the Eureka Machines.
Like we said at the start, the crafty buggers have done it again.