Posts Tagged ‘versus’

Eureka California at Raised by Gypsies

There are a number of ways to describe the music of Eureka California, some of which I have used already in previous reviews.   Eureka California is loud.   It is music which feels like you could hear it through your walls if your neighbor is playing it, you know.   But it’s something more than that.   I’ve found elements of Dynamite Hack, The Mr. T Experience and Screeching Weasel in these songs, which I take it means they are borderline indie rock and punk, but there is this revolution stirring inside of them.    That is perhaps the most important thing you need to know about “Versus”.

Through hints of Cadillac Blindside and old school Jimmy Eat World, Eureka California can just as easily belt out a ballad about not reading ahead and being in a phone booth- which is a dated reference, by the way, and that something that always bothers me about anything that has to do with Superman now, like taking that away from society took away a piece of a beloved childhood hero.    But then he says something interesting.   He calls his songs the anthem for the wasted years.    He talks about a wasted liberal arts degree and I just find myself relating the hell out of this.

Okay, so maybe I don’t have a liberal arts degree but I did study computer programming and yet still myself stuck in a place where I’m making minimum wage and am older than I would like to be when making minimum wage still.   It’s like, I wish I could just kind of take back the last ten years or so and use them to build a foundation so I could have worked my way up somewhere between then and now but the thing is, you could work somewhere your whole life and then just wake up one day and have it be gone so there are no real certain paths like that in life anymore.

And it makes me upset.   It pisses me right off.   I’m angry that going to school isn’t enough anymore and now you need three to five years of relevant experience.   Like, what the fuck was I doing in college if I was supposed to be having all of this experience too?  I know, I know, internships are the way to go but it wasn’t that way *before* I went to tech school it only became that way after I graduated.   That seems to be the story of my life though: once I accomplish something, unlock a “level up” in my life, if you will, they change the rules.   I feel like Mario Mario every damn day when I go somewhere and have to read “I’m sorry but our princess is in another castle”.

In these songs I can hear guitar chords like the Cranberries song “Zombie”, which reminds me of the cover that Screeching Weasel did of it and thus my earlier comparison, but I also hear some Local H in here, if only because of the line “Everybody had a hard year”.    As we get to the end of this one the theme becomes wanting to go to a place where nobody knows your name and it is what I like to call a reverse-“Cheers” effect (Which works on various levels because of the sort of depressing tones of the music as well) and then he simply says “I’ll never go back again”.

When I lived in Connecticut the first time I felt like it was such a small state and I knew everyone and all of that.   It was like you couldn’t walk out your front door to get the mail without having twelve different conversations with people you knew from somewhere.    Then I moved to Houston, which was huge and I still went out places and constantly saw people I knew.  I thought the whole idea of “big pond, little fish” would work in Houston but it didn’t.   Moving back to Connecticut has at least kept me out of the radar for the most part and so I do like that, but yeah, one day I’m going to have to move into some sort of isolation.

I’ve always known music was important and sounding good is something everyone who gets into music should aspire to– and I don’t mean you have to appeal to everyone but you should have an audience because even if you claim to be making music for no one and you’re some kind of “outsider” then you still kind of have an audience– but thinking all of these thoughts and relating to this cassette the way that I do just seems to take it to a whole other level.

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Eureka California at Austin Town Hall

Miss when college rock was filled with substance? Well, this Eureka California single should take you back in time, filling your ears with a heavy distorted guitar and a pummeling rhythm. My only complaint? It’s too short, I wanted this rocker to blast on forever, but of course, I can just play it again and again. There’s something gratifying in a quick blast of energetic angst, so I’ll gladly take this. The group’s new album, Versus, will be released byHHBTM on March 25th.

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Eureka California at Creative Loafing

Eureka California is streaming a track from their upcoming record, Versus (3/25, via HHBTM). Check out “Eureka California’s Night In.

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Eureka California at With Guitars

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Eureka California at Immersive Atlanta

Release Info
Recorded with MJ from Hookworms at Suburban Home Studios in the UK, Versus is fervent blast of crunchy pop and face-melting fuzz rock that’s made for pounding beers and staying out way past your curfew. Don’t sleep on this record.

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Eureka California at Examiner

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.

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Eureka California at Stomp and Stammer

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Witching Waves at Eardrums Music

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Witching Waves / High Violets / Great Lakes / Eureka California / deardarkhead at Babysue

We’ve always felt there’s been a void in the world of music since The Fastbacks released their unbelievable string of knockout albums in the 1980s and 1990s. There was something particularly appealing about the band’s genuinely delivered loud fuzz pop injected with sinfully addictive hooks. This is the first time in a long time that a band has given us the same general feeling we get when listening to The Fastbacks…and that band is London, England’s Witching Waves. Like most artists on the always entertaining Happy Happy Birthday To Me label, these folks have a nice raw rockin’ sound that has very little in common with present day processed Cheese Whiz. The songs on Crystal Cafe are presented using only the most basic essential ingredients: drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. And that’s all you really need, of course, because it’s the songs that matter most. These eleven tracks have a slight bubblegummy sound that we particularly love, but most folks probably won’t notice this because of the volume and intensity. Witching Waves is the trio comprised of Emma Wigham, Mark Jasper, and Ed Shellard. We sure hope these folks get the reaction they deserve from this album. In a world of calm and dullness, bands like Witching Waves are keeping the spark alive. Groovy buzzsaw cuts include “Twister,” “Red Light Loop,” “The Threat,” and “Receiver.” Totally cool stuff. Top pick.

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Soaring, lush, beautiful, modern dreamy pop played with style. Heroes and Halos is yet another resounding success for the folks in The High Violets. This is the fifth full-length release from this Portland, Oregon quartet. In some ways the tracks on this album remind us of Ivy but with more of an atmospheric overall slant. The High Violets areClint Sargent (lead guitar, vocals), Kaitlyn Donovan (vocals, guitar), Luke Strahota (drums, percussion), and Colin Sheridan (bass guitar). These folks make music that can best be described as pop, but it’s not the kind of predictable dribble that you might normally associate with the word. While these tracks are hummable and accessible, they are also creative and strikingly intelligent. We love the understated elements. Instead of pushing or forcing, these folks just let the music flow from their veins. And it is this natural flow that makes these tracks sound so wonderfully smooth and slightly surreal. Ten perceptive compositions here including “How I Love,” “Break A Heart,” “Bells,” and “Hearts In Our Throats.” Recommended. Top pick.

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Hard to believe the group Great Lakes has been around since 1996. But yup, the band has now been around for two decades…and they’re showing no signs of letting up. Originally based in Athens, Georgia, the players are now based in Brooklyn, New York. But even though the geographic location has changed, the sound remains remarkably similar and familiar. The band is driven by the songwriting skills of Ben Crum, a fellow who writes tunes that can pretty much be appreciated by anyone. Crum comes across sounding mighty relaxed and comfortable on Wild Vision, presenting smooth organic tracks that blend elements from folk, pop, and Americana. In addition to Crum the band also includes Kevin Shea on drums, David Lerner on bass, Joe McGinty on keyboards, Phillip Sterk on pedal steel, Heather McIntosh on cello, and Suzanne Nienaber on vocals (the same basic lineup that played on the 2010 release Ways of Escape). Cool, melodic, reflective…if you like the sound of real people playing real music, there’s an excellent possibility you’ll totally dig this stuff. Nine solid tracks including “Swim the River,” “Wild Again,” “I Stay, You Go,” and “Blood On My Tooth.”

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Real true gritty loud rock isn’t dead…it’s just hibernating beneath the surface while most folks prefer to drink diluted gunk from a baby bottle. Eureka California is one of the brave bands out there playing music that’s just too raw and real for the masses. These folks have hit another home run with Versus. If you love the sound of guitar bands from the late 1980s right on through the 1990s when everyone seemed to be turning up and turning on, there’s a very good chance you’ll totally dig the sound of these tracks. This is the band’s third full-length release but the first to be recorded in a real recording studio. Thankfully none of the band’s edge has been salvaged in the process. Eureka California is the duo of Jake Ward and Marie A. Uhler. Like most of their new releases, the folks at Happy Happy Birthday To Me have released this on a beautifully designed 12″ vinyl LP, complete with a handy dandy download card. Cool rhythms…groovy guitars in overdrive…and lyrics sung with appropriate abandon…what’s not to love here? Ten gripping cuts including “Another Song About TV,” “Fear and Loathing in the Classic City,” “Caffeine,” and “I Will Write Mine Over Potomac.” Wildly neat. Love it. Top pick.

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The guys in DearDarkHead have been making music since 1988, so we’re kinda embarrassed to admit that we’ve never heard ’em until now. Don’t expect anything retro-1980s here, because retro-1980s these guys are not. This album features instrumentals that combine elements from hard rock and underground shoegazer drone. The band’s music once featured vocals but now that both of the previous vocalists are no longer with the band they are (at least temporarily) an all-instrumental band. Considering this fact, you may be very surprised at how powerful these songs are. The band is now comprised of Kevin Harrington on guitar, Robert Weiss on drums, and Kevin McCauleyon bass. For a three piece band these guys have a great big sound. This is a short album that clocks in at just over twenty-five minutes. But in that amount of time, these guys make it perfectly clear they’re in it for the long run. Groovy, compelling, and hypnotic.

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Eureka California at Innocent Words

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