Eureka Machines - Do Or Die

You may have seen Eureka Machines frontman Chris Catalyst before. Stints in Sisters Of Mercy, Marky Ramone's band, Antiproduct and The God Damn Whores preceded an acoustic tour (alongside fellow guitarist Davros) with Ginger. And if only a couple of Wildhearts links in a single paragraph ain't enough for you, here's another; 'Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before Vol 1' and 'Do Or Die' will stand toe to toe in my favourite albums of 2008 list......

Opening your album with an open love letter to Jellyfish and all those relatively unknown rock giants that they ripped off so wonderfully is about as good an opening as I can remember. 'Being Good Is Okay, But Being Better's Better' cops the melody line from 'Volcano Girls' by Veruca Salt but quickly erases that memory with a swift, hook-laden bridge/chorus combination. 'The Story Of My Life' hints at a Police influence before ending gloriously with a fat riff and some great saxophone. There is a huge Beatles shadow hanging over 'Red Wine Smile'. Noel Gallagher must think that Oasis songs sound as good as this. They don't. The 80's synth of 'Everyone Loves You' is quickly beaten into submission by a spunky chorus that bursts out striking the listener with a jagged hook.

'Going Down' is a revelation as it suddenly becomes clear that Eureka Machines have a secret weapon, an extra band member who, Mutt Lange/Def Leppard style, stamps his/her authority all over the record. That secret weapon is the backing vocals and 'Going Down' features a deliciously addictive female-voiced hook that proves that touches like this turn good songs into great songs. There's an epic tone to 'She Sings To Me', a more serious affair which remains instrumental for all but its final minute. 'The One Who Wouldn't Change You' is further proof that if people still cared about singles, then this album would be littered with them. The title track is a lightning strike of pure power pop perfection - try saying that fast! Album closer 'The Light At The End Of The Tunnel' is about half a dozen different tunes - all of them awesome - squeezed into one.

In an industry that eats its own, predicting big things for a band is virtually redundant. However, that doesn't stop us from championing the bands that deserve severe recognition. Eureka Machines have the songs to achieve the genre-hopping success of someone like Supergrass, yet there is every possibility that they could end up being underheard and undervalued best kept secrets like Honeycrack or Silver Sun. If glowing reviews are stepping stones around the pitfalls of those bands then here's another. 'Do Or Die' is easily, and breezily, one of the better albums of 2008.

by Gaz E.

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