21 October 2015
Press To MECO - Good Intent
A while ago I wrote a review of a compilation album called 'You Heard It Here First! Rock Vol 1' (our review cleverly linked here) and one of the acts who contributed to the album was Croydon/Crawley based Press to MECO. They were form in 2010 and current consist of Luke Caley, Adam Roffey & Lewis Williams. On their Facebook they stated their influences as everyone which seems to be a spot on description. The song on that album was called "Wasting Time" and I was intrigued to follow on and review something else they released. I was going to review their 'Affinity' EP, but then I saw they were going to release this album. I described their music as emotional grunge (copyright Eddie Carter), but it will be interesting to see how the turns out.
“Family Ties” starts this album and with a lot of modern punk I am hearing The Ataris influence (this is a great thing btw) with this tale of family life and fighting coming to the forefront, but there is other influences in the mix here; there is a few of the riffs that would not be out of place on a Biffy Clyro record, the harmonies sound as if they could have been from Maxïmo Park and there is a massive riff in hear which will break the hearts of China Drum fans when they find out it was not wrote by their heroes. But for all these sound and possible influences, it does not sound like a tribute; it has a life of its own and it is a really positive introduction to this album, it is a bit hard to explain at this point (I will later on) but it is a fun opening. “Diffusion of Responsibility” is a double bass drum, arse kicking number that has another stylised riff/vocal harmony that brings together metal, punk and aggressive indie music into one distinctive and aggressively fun contraption of energy that shows that this band are not just focusing on one style and they are slicing/dicing and blending all of this into their own brew. It is a quality song that I wish was a little longer (if only so I can hear that riff for a few more moments – but that is what repeat buttons are for). The third number is called “Honestly” can be summed up as aggressive emotional punk; it has those wonder calm moments of reflection, it has explosive bridges, it has a sing along chorus that I would hope will ignite in an audience in the same way that Jonah Matranga can make you sing to his song and it all comes together again with a sign of originality that shows that there is something more to this band that might first meet the eye.
“Means to an End” erupts to begin with, again with a mixture of punk, indie and it has been skilfully blended into a beautiful number that seems to be about the illusion of the working life of people and how the industrial complex takes people in and spits them out along the way. It is a deep song and there is more going on under the surface that people will be able to understand, it shows that the band are capable of effecting the mind as well as making the body and voice explode in musical union. The fifth song is called "Autopsy" and it seems that something is already over before the song has come to an end, the house is being burnt down and the past destroyed. The song pivots on a quiet/loud/quiet dynamic to heighten the emotional content of the song, I am not too sure if this is a literal song or one shrouded in symbolism (more than likely the later, but you never know) but it does work its way into the listeners brain and demand repeated listening’s. "Manipulate" starts off as if the band are being recorded in a tunnel from a distance away, then as if the band are unveiled through a curtain - everything all of a sudden is turned up to eleven. The riff is very reminiscent of InMe in its quieter moments and it mixes those indie/post grunge/punk sensibilities once again to give the song about not trying to live up to another person's unreal expectations of what they expect a person to be. It is one of my favourite numbers of the album, it is as catchy as a one of those beer cans which Stone Cold Steve Austin used to ask for all the time in the WWF/WWE. Next up is the title track from their last ep "Affinity" ("Honesty" & "Tired Bones" are also taken from those releases and re-recorded for this release) and you are dropped into another shifting dynamically charged song that does like to change direction every now and then. During the verse & chorus, everything is hooked under a striking riff that sounds as if it is trying to escape from its restraints and fly in whatever direction that it wants - this is something that happens during bridges, until the band rein it in as they head towards the end of the song. I wonder what they sound like during one of their practice session and if they just let loose with the riff and see how far it will go? Anyway, it is another number of a high quality that has been the calling card of this album.
"Apprehension" see the band back to the punk shade of their repertoire, it has a bounce in its step that makes the listener take attention straight away. The song about those feelings that can be felt when the hours are dark and the mind is held in torment is underpinned by the sound which once again reminds me of Biffy Clyro, but it is mixed in with sound that is similar to Gratitude. This is an emotive song that shines on this album and without sounding like a broken record, once again it keeps the quality of album very high. "Tired Bones" starts off very gently and builds towards a fantastic chorus with a song that once again deals with the human condition and the focus of death that is an unavoidable part of the deal when you are born. It does not really grab me as much as other tracks on the record, but that is not saying it is a bad song - it is just showing how high the quality is on the rest of the album. The penultimate track is the short, sharp, shock that is called "Ghost" - it is an explosion in under three minutes that bounces along with such conviction and energy it is hard not to be swept up in its wake. I love the harmonies towards the end of the song, the chorus that will make audiences erupt in unison and it is just pipped to being the song of the album by "Honestly". Then we arrive at the end of the album with "Sacred Ground" which focuses on the quieter sound of the band, it is a very gentle song and guides the album down gently without sacrificing the high standards that the band have achieved over the song. The riffs and chords all start to build as the song progress and hits at the loud ending which is inevitable from this song, but it is a natural build to that point and it ends the album with a quality moment that will make other bands envious that they had not thought of it first.
Cards on the table, I love this record. It has so much going on in places that it seems to strain at the sides with the changing pace of riffs, some of the songs seem explode in unexpected places and others keep that sweet spot going for longer than you would expect. There is so many dynamics that it is hard to keep track with the direction of the song, but it is performed in such a way that it is hard to believe that this is the first album from the band. Whilst I have mentioned other acts in this review, do not think this is a tribute or pastiche to other bands - this is an original album from a band who are making their own way in the world. I said in that original review on 'You Heard It Here First! Rock Vol 1' that they could be the first emotional grunge act - I can still see that, but there is much more to their sound. If you want to hear a new alternative punk act starting to hit their stride, look no further.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Top track - Honestly
You can purchase the digital version of Good Intent from Amazon here
You can visit the Press To Meco website here - there is also a webstore on it where you can purchase the album as well
You can follow their activities on Facebook here
You can stream Good Intent on Spotify here
You can stream Good Intent on Tidal here
It is not on Deezer at time of writing
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