Posts Tagged ‘eureka california’

Eureka California at Here Comes the Flood

Athens, GA, garage rock outfit went through various permutations, with founder member Jake Ward (guitar, vocals) as the sole constant and long serving drummer Marie A. Uhler as his partner in crime to lay down a ferocious backbeat. Being down to a duo hasn’t slowed them down and they have been releasing well-received albums on a yearly basis. Their latest is called Versus on which they make their way through eleven track in under half an hour.

Poking fun at nearly anything and being angry at the same time is whwat gets them through the ennui over everyday life. The acoustic Fear and Loathing in the Classic City sums it up perfectly: “I want to see real emotion/And recede back into the sea/Where The American Dream can finally die with me/And my Liberal Arts diploma/I’m 28 to life/I’m dying on the vine/And I’ve got no time for Eureka California”. Stand-out track Sober Sister is about who a guy who finds himself in the back of a car after his big sister came to collect him after a having one too many, which might a humiliating experience but is turned into an act of defiance. The creepy surfer mayhem of Sign My Name With An X hammers home the fear of a bad guy lurking in the shadows.

Versus is a warts-and-all lo-fi statement that will be a sought after essential slice of Athens underground rock in years to come.

Versus is released on green vinyl, CD and cassette viaHappy Happy Birthday To Me records. Pre-orders include a bonus demos cassette, button, and patch. Release date: April 1st.


Eureka California at Stereo Embers

All punk bands – or bands with punk’s energy however else they’re categorized – have to grow up whether they want to or not. Resistance, no matter how vigorously applied, is futile. Now, I don’t know if they realize it or not, but the unstoppable force of nature that is Eureka California – Jake Ward and Marie A. Uhler, who are from nowhere near Eureka (Athens, GA, actually) and make a noise so uninhibitively boisterous that White Stripes could band back together, join up with the Black Keys and play devil’s tag with a 17-megaton A-bomb and still not come close – show signs of doing just that on third album Versus.

While no small responsibility for this evolutionary jump may primarily be due to recording in a real studio for the first time (Suburban Home in Leeds, UK, overseen by Hookworms’ MJ), I tend to reckon that the years of grinding and polishing their craft while simultaneously – through both touring and, yes, aging – becoming more (gasp!) worldly takes the raging lion’s share of credit. None of which is to say that the fuzz-ripped hurtling verve with which they’ve made their reputation has diminished a single jot, it’s simply been given greater layers of (again, gasp!) refinement. The results are sublime in a mostly explosive sort of way.

Where an articulate and literate lyrical wit has always counted as one of the band’s bonus assets, on Versus (pun intended, one’s sure), it’s clearly been administered some kind of booster shot. Indeed, a jaundiced eye has seldom been known to see so astutely, as Eureka California – for the most part (the exception being exceptional and soon discussed) – hard charge down the tracklist drag racing their petulant intelligence across your cerebrum.

From the start, already careening toward the guardrail at reckless speed before swerving wildly back to safety just in time, “Eureka California’s Night In” is something of a Billy Childish roar contained inside the power punk economy of the Adverts. Next up, “Sign My Name With An X,” though sparse of lyric, emerges as a quick monster lesson on how to turn two minutes into a Mothra-sized riff-fest before ceding to “Another Song About TV” whose punchy tube sock rhythm and poppy vocal melody not only gives an impression that the TV screen in question is a flickering B&W with a 70’s chassis but also claims a lineage with such legendary indie labels as Ace of Hearts and Beserkley, that same jaded innocence, that snotty youthful zest that belies the often tender admissions hidden within (sample lyric, clearly discernable as always inside the garagey bluster, another hallmark of that vintage sound: You wanna know why I don’t go out, I’ll tell you why / when I turn on the TV it makes me feel like someone’s home). Sure, these Eureka kids are a mite more amped up about it but by and large that comparison marks the default (if wholly uncontrived) setting here and it serves Versus extraordinarily well.

“Sober Sister” launches with a sweet clean Kiwi pop-like guitar line atop a tripletted frenzy (Ms Uhler ain’t playin’ games behind that kit) before submitting to the submarine fuzz. “Cobwebs in the Wind” answers any curiosity you might have had as to what it would have been like had Hüsker Dü and the Replacements done a deal at the beginning of the game and traded lead singers, “Ghosts” has a fine, almost beer hall lurch to it, melancholy and adrenaline knocking back a few, while the brief “Caffeine” spends its first third in a dreamy decaf lament, some electric strumming in the morning sunlight before the flip gets switched to all-out hauling mania a la Dinosaur Jr minus the stoner’s drawl. Two of the last three seem to seek the ‘epic and monumental’ and shock no one at this point by finding it. “Realizing Your Actuality” clocks in at 4:03, uses some punctuating reverb and Ward’s rawest, most beseeching yowl of a vocal to convey the song’s teetering catharsis and is the band at their most emotionally feral and effecting best. Final track “I Will Write Mine Over Potomac” stretches to 5:20 and earns that finality via a tired but defiant, undyingly vibrant vulnerability, rich with an aching, Everyman perspective that Protomartyr’s Joe Casey would be proud to lay claim to. It’s poetry written in thunder and corrugated regret, it shudders with poignancy and it’s not even the record’s crowning triumph.

“Fear and Loathing in the Classic City,” smack in the middle of the tracklisting – it ends side one of the LP – is, for one, just Ward with an acoustic, miked close enough to hear his fingers scraping over the frets. Secondly, given that level of intimacy, it’s Eureka California at their barest, most exposed, almost unthinkably so (far more so than on”Actuality..” or “I Will Write..”), Ward laying out a soliloquy of doubt and wonder, the words as he addresses some hidden conflicted version of himself in an alternate mirrored universe amounting to a delicate existential despair made all the more immortally bittersweet by that very delicacy. And here’s the funny thing, an aside of sorts, neither here nor there, as they say: that Beserkley mention above? As I was first hearing this track the other morning, rather marveling at its stark right-there-ness unprotected by noise or bash, a mental note was made along the lines of ‘Jonathan Richman in his own long dark night of the soul, abandoned by naiveté,’ that sort of thing when just then Ward sang “Oh I’ve been wasting away / to the sounds of the Modern Lovers.” And here I thought I couldn’t fall more in love with this record.

In any case, hearing “Fear and Loathing in the Classic City” is the moment you realize with an epiphanic jolt that Eureka California have crossed over from a jarringly good punk-injected indie band to what we might justifiably call a major presence. Conceptually, aesthetically, they’ve arrived. Or, yeah, if one prefers, they’ve grown up.

And there’s just this one last thing I’ll say: Eureka California are now one of my favorite bands.



Eureka California at Tullycraft Nation

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Eureka California / Witching Waves at Too Much Rock

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Eureka California / Witching Waves at Scared to Dance

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Eureka California at Vinyl Mag

Eureka California is a hidden gem of Athens, Georgia. While the music scene in The Classic City presents a plethora of dreamy sounds and echo effects, the indie rock duo exudes a sound that samples from the 90’s rock style and references classic authors and musicians alike. With lyrical spin-offs of Simon & Garfunkel and Martha & The Vandellas, Eureka offers a refreshing sound. The duo consists of guitarist, Jake Ward and drummer, Marie A. Uhler. While they’ve been playing together for five years and may be a relatively new band in the Athens music scene, there is no doubt that this pair is comfortable in their own skin.

Eureka drops their new album, Versus (HHBTM Records), on March 25th, but they’ve been kind enough to give Vinyl Mag an early preview. Versus was recorded at Suburban Home Studios with MJ of Hookworms. The album opens with “Eureka California’s Night In.” The music video features Ward and Uhler walking to Athens’ own Little Italy for a slice a pizza and ends with a night on the couch watching what can only be an endless vortex of cat videos. Stylistically, Eureka is energetic with a hint of cynicism. Ward’s powerful vocals and stark guitar melodies are amplified by Uhler’s merciless drumbeats.

Lyrically, Versus embodies the isolation that comes with the uniformity and calamity of living in a cityscape. Eureka cleverly combines lively melodies with lyrics about passing up a night on the town for a quiet night in the house. Ward sings about the pageant that is Athens nightlife, although this can be applied to any city with a string of bars dedicated to millennial past-times, “I’m much too slow for a social animal.” In a city where 2 a.m. beckons the “final call”, you ask yourself, “Where did my time and money go?” Consequentially, you believe your night would’ve been better spent indoors, as Ward explains, “When I turn on the TV it makes me feel like someone’s home.” How often do we feel a strong sense of closeness to the voices coming through our televisions? There’s a strange comfort that comes with the mindless drone of advertisements in a city where nightlife conversations consist of platitudes about college majors and an uncertain future; it certainly can make you feel like “the only living boy in Athens, Georgia. However, it would be unjustified to deem Eureka as “recluse,” in fact, it seems that they also know how to have a good time, as Ward explains a typical night on the town, “Wearing clothes that I found at the bar, and I’m sobering up in the back of your car…Summer’s here and the time is right for getting black out drunk in the street.”

While the city harbors a sense of romance and unity from an outsider’s perspective, Eureka California seems to transport their listeners through the shenanigans that come with warm weather to the underlying loneliness that comes with being in a large crowd. Eureka can hang, but they also know the importance of solitude and self-awareness. Versus is dance inducing, fun and cohesive, but Eureka’s identity comes out in the lyrics. A smart listener should appreciate the modern rock group’s energy and be able to peel back the layers of their upbeat sound to find Eureka’s ability to reference reality in a subtle stream of lyrics.


Eureka California at Bearded Magazine

Name: Eureka California
Location: Athens, Georgia, US
Genre: Punk, grunge
Similar Artists: PAWS, Dinosaur Jr.,
Contact: Bandcamp Facebook Website Tumblr Twitter
Events: The release of single Cobwebs on the Wind from upcoming album Versus

Eureka California, oddly enough hailing from Athens in Georgia not their namesake, have been pushing out sounds in their home country for a number of years now. But with this as their third release they’ve decided that the UK is primed for being infiltrated. They’ve dipped their toes in before. In the summer of 2015, and previously the band toured with Witching Waves as their support, so they’re pretty well embedded in the raw rock and punk side of things.

Being as the place of Eureka itself in just under 3,000 miles away from their hometown there’s a good chance that the music the band makes is, in some way, holding a torch for the California sound. It’s sunshine rock with shit speakers making distortion and noisey fuzz, filling all the gaps between your ears and the instruments. Bluntly, it’s happy energy bottled and delivered straight to you.

As a single ‘Cobwebs on the Wind’ continues this vibe. It’s got the youthful, sunshine image that is jigged across the entirety of the band’s Versus album. However, its subject matter is quite different to that as Jake from the band explains: “This song was written in the same 24-hour period as “I Will Write Mine Over Potomac” and “Everybody Had A Hard Year.” The original working title was “The Transported Man.” We still write the song as “Transported Man” on all of our setlists. The song is about death from a realist perspective.” The staccato strums and an effortlessly speedy vocal deliver “it’s always the same and it will never change” as a final parting shot for barely three minutes of blasted energy.

For drummer Marie, ‘Cobwebs on the Wind’ still holds a melancholy feel, “During the recording process a few things happened during this song that I had never tried before or gotten to work before, and it was really exciting to me to finally work them out. It is one of my favorite songs to play, but it made me really sad to listen to for a long time. Maybe having fun playing it makes it easier to deal with what the song is about.” When the remainder of the album is released at the end of March previous single ‘Sign My Name with an X’ will surely impress, but back burner album tracks ‘Another Song About TV’ and ‘Everybody Had A Hard Year’ make sure that Versus doesn’t blow its load early but pace itself over the course of 11 (albeit incredibly short) tracks. For fans of feel good bands that blast out a short, energetic, concise, no nonsense reel of punk songs where the solos consist of no more than two notes, Eureka California are here. For fans ofTokyo Police Club, just as much as Dinosaur Jr.


Eureka California at Pop! Stereo

As shambolic as the cover would seem to indicate Eureka California’s Versus is a crazy ride through the indie rock lexicon.  Sounding like a perfect smash up between Daydream Nationera Sonic Youth, Slanted and Enchanted Pavement, a bit of Superchunk and some surf guitarVersus is a noisy wrangled record of chaotic fun.  This is a sloppy and loud record that hits you over the head with massive melodies, geeky guitar work, and songs that are hard to forget.

Eureka California don’t necessarily write anything overly complicated but what they do write seems to be held together by some broken guitar strings, duct tape, and a bit of luck.  It’s all very messy but its simplistic nature is its greatest asset.  This is a homage to classic 90’s indie rock made with a heart the size of Texas and it’s so in love with that era it’s hard to believe this was released this year.  Versus is an awesome listen and catchier than the zika virus it’s songs recklessly careen through three minutes like a 90 year old granny backing up in a parking lot.  Rough, raw and prone to blowing speakers Versus is a shining example of how indie rawk should be played.

Eureka California’s Versus could fall apart at any point while it’s being listened to.  Its disheveled songs, shaky walls of noisy guitars and muddled melodies somehow manage to hold together just long enough to work their way into your consciousness and never leave.  It is almost impossible to dislike sloppy stuff like this because its organic nature is so unpolished and raw that its intentions are laid bare. Eureka California are an awesome band and Versus is a trip well worth making.


Eureka California at Brooklyn Vegan

Athens, GA duo Eureka California will release their third album, Versus, on March 25 via Happy Happy Birthday to Me. They went to Leeds, UK to make this record at Suburban Home, the studio run by MJ from Hookworms (he produced it too). Already a band who like things loose and with the volume all the way up, the new album sounds like a ripper judging from singles “Eureka California’s Night In” and “Sign My Name With An X.” Both tracks match noise with big pop hooks, and the video for the latter makes its premiere in this post. Directed by the band’s Marie A. Uhler and Jake Ward, it details what a night in for them looks like. Check that out below.

The band have already been announced for this year’s NYC Popfest, but they’ll be on tour this month as well, including a stop at Brooklyn’s Alphaville on Wednesday, March 9 with Haybaby, Total Slacker and Parlor Walls. Tickets are on sale.

All tour dates are listed, along with the album art, tracklist, video and song stream, below.

Read More: Eureka California releasing new LP ‘Versus’ (check out 2 songs), touring, playing NYC Popfest |


Eureka California at Pop Occulture