Once in a blue moon you stumble across an album that defies the odds. You might recognize bits of various genres within this sort of album, but every song sounds completely refreshing. You’ll get precisely this when you listen to Crunch, the newest album from Athens’ Eureka California; they’ve created a pop rock record that doesn’t give a fuck if you like it.
One of the great attributes, of which there are many, on Crunch lives in the fact that only one song on the album breeches the 3 minute mark, with most falling far short of that mark. Take the opener, “Edith” which is finished in just under a 1.5 minutes, as an example; it’s a jangling rocker with a nice little bounce, but rather than hit you over the head with redundancy, Eureka California quickly gets to the point, then wraps it up. This is a tactic that’s used far too rarely nowadays, as many bands want to make sure you acknowledge their musicianship. Here it’ll allow you to bob your head to track after track, never tiring of a single note.
Still, you can’t just rely on short bursts of joyous pop, you’ve got to have great songs tune, and they’re filling up this entire album. I love “There’s No Looking Back,” opening with a casual chugging riff and vocals, but as you’re growing accustomed to the tune, it blasts off furiously into a more ramshackle version of itself. There’s also “This Ain’t No A-Side,” which might be one of the album’s better tracks. It uses a little bit of fuzziness on the instruments, while holding onto this youthful vibrance that burrows into your eardrums. And you can’t forget the lead single from Crunch, “Twin Cities.” This song in particular gathers all of my favorite bits of the band and throws it into one song; there’s hooks in the vocals, well-executed guitar riffs, various movements and it all seems like the band is on the verge of falling off the tracks.
There’s a reckless abandon to the entirety of Crunch. After many many listens it seems like the group got together to bang out the loudest, most fun set of pop tracks they could. They clearly weren’t concerned with where they fit in the grand spectrum of the music world, they just wanted to write a bunch of great songs; it’s part of what makes every track so endearing, and ultimately what makes Eureka California something quite special.