Other than the name, Eureka California holds no association to the town of Eureka nor the state of California. It is a band from Athens, GA (by way of NC) known for its raw blustery sound built around crunchy guitar riffs and the right amount of fuzziness. Head honcho Jake Ward is the brains, heart, lungs, liver and colon of the group penning songs that express a modicum of disdain towards our dysfunctional society, people that just “don’t get it” and over all life in general. The latest record – Versus – due out at the end of March is another fine collection of sardonic songs that find Ward letting everyone know just how he feels about things.
The brooding “Another Song About TV” gnaws at listener’s ears with grinding guitars and Ward’s piercing vocals as he sings about people substituting social interaction with an increasing amount of time in front of the idiot box. The rat-a-tat-tat of a snare explodes into a sonic wonderland on “Sober Sister” and Ward’s warble is at the forefront on “Caffeine” before being covered with layers of fuzz infested guitars. The songs “Everyone Had a Hard Year”,“Eureka California’s Night In” and “Sign My Name With an X” are short sweet and offer up Ward’s pessimistic view on the world. The album comes to a close with the epic tune “I Will Write Mine Over Potomac”. A gentle beginning escalates into chaos before Ward wrangles things back under his control. It is the perfect cross section of everything that is good about Eureka California’s music.
Versus fits perfectly within Eureka California’s collection of albums. The band’s music is raw, opinionated and in your face which is what makes it so intriguing. The songs question the status quo and encourage listeners to think about what Ward is saying. If you want music that is more substance that flash the Eureka California’s Versus is what you need to be listening to.