Jake Ward is a clever so-and-so. Over-educated, over-stimulated and over it all – the classic American slacker tale, and one that can feel overdone when everyone’s searching for missing buttons from plaid shirts. But unlike most of his generation, he’s got tunes to amplify his smarts, and alongside turbo-charged drummer Marie A. Uhler, he’s found the perfect vehicle to express them.
Could be low fidelity that makes super-catchy clatter like No Mas and Twin Cities feel redolent of Guided By Voices – or maybe it’s just that Ward grew up on the same diet of Brit invasion pop, post-punk noise and cheap beer as Pollard and co. Either way, even Eureka’s best impressions sound like their own voice, plus they’ve got the chutzpah to turn writer’s block into engaging subject matter on the wry Art Is Hard. Best of all is the self-deprecating This Ain’t No A-Side, where the world’s catchiest fuzz-riff bounces into your skull to pogo for all eternity. A treat.