When artists have been playing shows for an extended period of time, the desire to evolve as a musician either becomes an obsession that rides roughshod over whatever made them interesting in the first place, or the artist gets caught in the loop of what made them successful in the past. It’s been over 10 years for Eureka California creator Jake Ward, yet so far he hasn’t succumbed to either extreme, choosing instead to explore every possible angle of chunky, organic rock and roll (please don’t sue me Campbell’s® Soup), without deviating from his roots as an insightful bedroom songwriter.
“Threads,” the first single off the duo’s upcoming LP Roadrunners, picks up where the band left off with 2016’s Versus, a fiery ode to Athens filled with a depth of insight I hadn’t seen from the band before. Ward and drummer Marie Uhler continue to confront the tinnitus hum of dead-end jobs, the mortality of relevance, and in this case, the existential threat of nuclear annihilation, which still takes a backseat to the more mundane headaches of life.
The duo have always had a bombastic charm, often barely able to keep up with their own onslaught. Each riff charges out of Ward’s amp with a mind of its own leaving lyrics and rhythm struggling in the wake. This blunt-force energy makes Eureka California tracks impossible to ignore, but “Threads” proves that Ward can tame the beast without losing the fire. The sharpened ‘90s alternative sound is a tantalizing way forward for the band, who have experimented with everything from lo-fi emo jams to noise rock. Give it a listen below.