30 March 2015

Eureka Machines - Brain Waves

It’s been a good three months since I last reviewed anything for this blog, I’ve kind of got out of the habit. Last December we had a big rush to get any albums we wanted for inclusion for Album of the Year. By the time the results were correlated I was all blogged out and wanted a rest from it for a while. That rest became a break and that break became filling all my spare time watching Arrow on hooky websites.
I’ve been feeling a bit guilty for not contributing so much lately and now that one of my favourite bands have released their new album, it seemed like a good time to start again.

Brain Waves is Eureka Machines’ fourth album and the second they’ve successfully released through the crowd funding website, Pledgemusic (where I am downloading the songs from as I type) Its title irks me in the fact that their previous three albums (Do Or Die, Champion The Underdog, Remain In Hope) all had three world titles and this only has the two. However irritating to me that might be, it isn’t a major issue in the grand scheme so I shall attempt to move past it.

This album also differs from the previous ones in that it follows a theme of sorts. It’s not a concept album by any means but all the songs run around the premise of Depression, Bipolarism (is that right? Bipolarisation? Bipolarate?) and the general bother thinking about things too much can get you into. That said, it’s not the miserable slab of gothic emo you might imagine. It’s a gloriously bright sounding album, full of life and joy despite the mopey subject matter.

A short staccato burst of guitar kicks things off and we’re away in fine style with the frenetic Paranoia. It features a great, piledriving, riff and has a load of melody, I think there’s a little bit of honky tonk in there too. Television is slightly less breakneck but still a full on rock song. The chorus line “So I sit and I wait and I read my TV guide” has been infuriating me all this time because it really reminds me of something that I couldn’t place. I’ve just spent the last half hour mumbling the line I thought it was until I figured it out. It’s We’re Not Deep by The Housemartins. See, now that I’ve figured it out I’m not entirely sure they sound anything alike. Anyway, Television. Good song. 

 (the bit I mean is about 25-30 seconds in, see what you think (if you've heard Television) and also keep an eye out for Fat Boy Slim in this video)

Sleep Deprivation steps things up a notch. It’s a brilliant song, popper than the previous two and has some lovely, King’s X style, harmonies throughout, particularly in the closing ramble about lost keys and doorbells. Brainwaves carries on the poppier feel and would make an excellent single. It’s dead catchy and has some nice Woah oh’s in it. It sounds perfect for the radio and the more people singing “Am I ordinary or the weirdest guy I know?” the better.  

Human picks up the pace and careers forward wildly, dragged along by an odd, two note riff. Again, the chorus is a mammoth one that’ll get stuck in your brain for days. 

When Every Day I Thank The World I Cut You Off first came on I had to check to see if iTunes had frozen cos I couldn’t hear anything.  Everything was fine; it just starts really quiet and understated. It’s a welcome break after the last five songs, it’s a slow, relaxing song which, fairly obviously, deals with people who are a drain in your life and detangling them from it. It goes all swirly and fancy halfway through and builds up to a crashing finale.

The first song released from this project was Welcome To My Shangri-La and it’s simple to see why as it’s a perfect representation of the band; big, bouncy riffs and singalonga woahs in the chorus. Again, it’s been frustrating me because there’s another song I recognise but I can’t narrow it down any further than I think it’s an Oasis one.  Next up is The Golden Lonely that’s essentially a modern day Can’t Buy Me Love. It’s another typical upbeat Eureka Machines song.  I particularly liked the lyric “She’ll take your wealth, she’ll take your fame.  Oh she’ll take everything but your name”.

                                          (L-R Davros, Chris Catalyst, Pete Human, Wayne Insane)

 Following The Golden Lonely is Vulture Of The Culture, it’s very similar to the previous songs pace-wise. I don’t know why but I’m not as keen on this song as the others. It’s a good song just not special.  

Neuro Bolero is an improvement though, the verses are quite restrained but still boppy, the chorus is a loud, brash thing that belies the insecurities displayed in the lyrics. It’s an interesting juxtaposition.
 The final two songs are both slower songs and are the two longest as well. The first time I heard I Miss You I wasn’t that impressed, it passed me by a little but the more I’ve listened to it the more I appreciate it and now it’s one of my favourites. It’s a gentle, wistful song that seems to be more about missing happier times mentally than it does about a person.
The final song is We’re Going To The Future, it’s a 7 minute long epic that, to be honest, could have stopped at about 4 minutes but as it’s the last song on the album the 3 minutes of the endlessly repeated chorus seems like a good way to end things.
I don’t know if it’s actually what it’s about but, to me, it sounds like it’s about this One Way Trip To Mars thing that’s been in the news. Personally I think it would be an exciting and amazing experience but one that sounds almost certain to end in horrific and painful death. Still, this song finishes the album with a sense of positivity and excitement about what the future holds. It’s very much a light at the end of the tunnel song which is what was needed.

 Each one of Eureka Machines albums have been an improvement on the last and Remain In Hope, was a fantastic album so Brain Waves had its work cut out but it has most definitely managed it.  I look forward to the next (Which I hope is the second in a trilogy of albums with two word titles) very much.

9 out of 10 - Almost perfect... Almost

You can read reviews of all three of their other albums HERE

Listen on Spotify HERE. In about a month or so when the album gets a full release.

Read some background info on the album and download a couple of free songs HERE
You could probably sign up for the Pledge while you're there.

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