Posts Tagged ‘hhbtm’

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.

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Eureka California at Bearded Magazine

Bio
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.

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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.

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Witching Waves at Pop! Stereo

Witching Waves’ Crystal Café is a restless record of noisy guitars, sugary sweet vocals and driving rhythms.  Sounding something like the Pixies/Breeders with a bit of riot grrl, Lush and Sonic Youth thrown in for good measure Britain’s Witching Waves create a raucous distorted wall of edginess with just enough pop sensibility to make it all memorable.  Not overly produced or even overly played, Crystal Café churns through songs in a torrent of frenzied riffs, shouts, melodies and broken drum heads.  It’s all a bit rough and tarnished around the edges but that’s what makes Witching Waves so darn good and fun to jump around to.

Crystal Café is probably the most American record I’ve heard a British band produce since Urusei Yatsura did things like this in the 90’s.  And while there are bits and bobs that sound British in their tendencies, most of the songs lend credence to the thought that Witching Waves were raised on 90’s indie rock from the States.  Irregardless of origin, the eleven songs that make up Crystal Café are all brilliant and there’s so little wrong with this indie rock gem it’s not even worth mentioning.   From the jumpiness of the guitars to the boy girl vocal trade-offs and even the subdued basslines prodding the songs along Witching Waves have stumbled on to some songwriting gold here and it all comes together to make for one heck of a thirty minute ride.  Raw, unrefined and fun Crystal Café is a modern indie rock classic and one of the best records of 2016 thus far.

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Witching Waves at MPMBL

Es geht mit Sicherheit auch eine Nummer kleiner: Gerade hat sich die halbe Wissenschaftswelt wie Bolle darüber gefreut, dass man endlich die Existenz der Einsteinschen Gravitationswellen nachweisen konnte, etwas bescheidener freut sich, wer die Hexenwellen aus London für sich entdeckt: Das Londoner Trio, bestehend aus Emma Wigham (Gesang, Drums), Mark Jasper (Gitarre) und Ed Shellard (Bass), ist vor zwei Jahren auf dem Radar der Talentsucher aufgetaucht und mit dem aktuellen, zweiten Album könnte sich der Bekanntheitsgrad der drei noch um einiges vergrößern. Erstklassiger Schrammelpop wird auf “Crystal Cafe” zum Besten gegeben, eingängig und dennoch ausreichend schräg, um nicht gleich jedermanns Sache zu werden. Ganz groß wird dabei auch der Noise geschrieben, Stücke wie “Red Light” und “Receiver” schmirgeln sich ganz wunderbar in den Gehörgang, an anderer Stelle glaubt man als Vorbilder die Pixies (“Make It Up”) oder The Cure (“Flowers”) zu erkennen. In jedem Falle fünfunddreißig abwechslungsreiche Minuten, die Lust auf mehr und vor allem auf live machen.

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Witching Waves at Visions

“Flowers”, die erste Auskopplung des zweiten Albums “Crystal Cafe” des Postpunk-Trios Witching Waves, ist schon eine kluge Finte. Der pluckernde, höhenlastige Basslauf und das monoton-düstere Drumming würde nämlich perfekt zum sonoren, bassigen Bariton eines Ian Curtis oder dem Weltschmerz von The Cure passen. Auf Albumlänge zeigt sich allerdings, dass die Band aus London eher im noisigen Indierock zu Hause ist. Der dezent leidende, aber stets hochmelodische Doppelgesang von Emma Wigham und Mark Jasper schwebt über Querschläger-Gitarrenpop, garagigen Riffs und einem treibenden Postpunk-Rhythmusfundament – eine Mischung, mit der sich Witching Waves im Plattenschrank sowohl neben 90er-Dreampop als auch Noise- und Garage Rock verdammt gut machen.

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Performer

If the reports are to be believed, then AAL’s Jesse Stinnard is either a bizarre genius that Athens has been hiding for the past decade, or an equally bizarre manifestation of said genius’s cosmic brain waves. Er, where was I? Oh yes, the new vinyl release by this “band” from Athens. Well, let’s not bury the lead any further: it’s a friggin’ winner.

Melodic, oddly dark and inviting, and at times invitingly grating (yep, that makes sense), the record is an amalgam of tracks culled from (if we believe what we’re told) hundreds of songs in Stinnard’s crazy backlog. There are so many damn songs it’s hard to tell where you are at any given time in the tracklist, but that’s kinda what’s bat-shit awesomesauce about the journey. Records aren’t typically made that way (usually for good reason), but the experimentation is oddly enveloping in a fuzzed-out acid-trip sorta way.

Nominally, it’s a shoegaze-meets-noisepop-meets-punk album. Well, sorta. If inexplicable Pavement-esque stabbings at warbling rock n roll float your boat, this is gonna give you an instant pants-tent.

It’s hard to say too much more about the record. It’s weird. It’s fun. It’s catchy (seriously) and it doesn’t seem to take much for granted when it comes to standard songwriting formats. We dig eccentric shit like this. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the backlog, Jesse.

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Witching Waves at Bearded Magazine

Sometimes deadpan Sonic Youth, sometimes Veronica Falls trading vocals and sometimes screaming like the Pixies, Witching Wavessecond album conjures a meaner beast from the darkness for the London trio.

The main thrust of Crystal Café is the overriding disdain for life and their surroundings. There’s not just a mild sense of peril in the words “Why can’t everything be the same? It’s so much worse when you make an aim” or sigh of disappointment in “3, 2, 1 I’m back to square one” from the track ‘Make It Up’ it’s an actual boredom at how crap Witching Waves see life as. There’s no expectation from them and all of that is poured into this music and mixed in with whatever will to make an effort they have left. The result is an album delivered through gritted teeth with guitars that give more cut than their fuzzed sound would usually allow.

But this doesn’t seem to be an album all about being miserable and having a crap time of it – that would be dull. It also moves with a decent pace and jigs around with menace. Lead singer Emma Wigham’s vocals exist upon two planes. She’s either deadpan and subdued or leading a procession of staring, nodding crowds forwards. Something as simple as repeatedly chanting, “I try” in ‘The Threat’ is effective in setting a chugging pace, alongside roughly struck DIY guitars, to create additional live atmosphere for this album.

Waiting for the end of the album is worth it with ‘The Flowers’ finishing with its deadpan and deep guitars. It highlights the deeper duskiness to both the vocals and guitar. This mirrors a Wolf Alice or, again, a Sonic Youth song. It shows that while Witching Waves do pump out the pessimism at a pace, they can also sit in their emotions and wallow.

This latest effort the band is a chance to spread their popularity out wider. While first album Fear of Falling Down, possibly didn’t garner them the recognition it deserved whereas Crystal Café, alongside continued touring in the US and UK, should boost their chances. A lot like witnessing an argument in a darkened room between Sonic Youth and The Pixies, this is an album that wears its discontent of society on its sleeve – Crystal Café is the sneer at the ridiculousness of a tiny biscotti on the side of your coffee.

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Witching Waves at Pop Occulture

Witching Waves “The Threat”

New video from Happy Happy Birthday to Me’s Wtiching Waves. The video itself is a macabre nightmare, full of references to classic silent horror movies. The band comes off as a bouncy crunchy post-punk outfit with hooky 70’s death rock tinged choruses. Definitely worth a listen.

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Witching Waves at Artrocker

Click through to listen!

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