Not many people would take pride in being referred to as “skuzzy”, but then most people aren’t members of Athens, GA band Eureka California. Birthed from the mind of one Jake Ward in the great state of North Carolina (I am partial to NC) Ward made the trek south relocating his base of operations in the North Eastern GA college town. Various members may have made their way in and out of Eureka California, but one thing stayed constant, Ward’s determination to dish out skuzzy pop infused garage rock music.
On Eureka California’s debut record - Big Cats Can Swim - their signature sound was unleashed to the world. Loud fuzz filled guitars, ear pounding drums and enough pop to hook listeners filled every tune as they delivered songs about their distaste for many aspects of today’s society in a way that is reminiscent of classic punk bands such as the Clash or The Voidoids without sounding like copy cats. Ward’s vocal warble became the center piece of their songs as he gave people a piece of his mind on tracks like “Back To Washington” and “The Day No Trains Ran”. Paired with their incessant touring the band has built a loyal fan base that ingests their music with a voracious appetite. Throwing their full support out to Eureka California fans know the band will repay their loyalty with great tunes and killer live shows. That is a win/win right there.
With a solid musical foundation firmly in place Ward and his partner in crime Marie A Uhler has delivered their sophomore effort Crunch. The eleven tracks of noisy indie rock picks up right where Big Cats left off. Once again the songs are short and sweet but pack a powerful punch. Ward’s smarmy smart ass tone is in your face as he sings about failed unions (“There’s No Looking Back”), being an artist (“Art Is Hard”) and deception (“Sneaky Bobby”). They drag people into the record with the opening track “Edith (One Day You’ll Live In a Bunker)”. The Guided By Voices-esque song punches listeners in the ear holes with driving guitars and Wards vocals. The bands snarkiness is front and center on the punk infused on “I Bet You Like Julian Cope”. Uttering the same phrase over and over you get the feeling they are mocking Julian Cope fans. The album comes to a close with “How Long Til the Medicine Takes” a haunting mellow tune that sounds completely different than the rest of the record. With a 60’s vibe it is a nice addition. Crunch will stick in your ears requiring you to play it over and over again. With each listen you delve deeper into the intricacies of their music and realize it is a whole lot more than a bunch of noise.
A new record means it is time to get out on the road and support said new record. That is exactly what Eureka California is doing. They will be in Athens on July 25th as part of Slopfest (more on that to come) and in Atlanta at The Music Room as part of a line-up consisting of them, Muuy Biien and Hip To Death.
Here is the rest of their travel itinerary:
July 19: Alexandria, VA @ The Lab w/Soundtrack to Sleep
July 20: Arlington, VA @ Galaxy Hut
July 21: Philadelphia, PA @ Golden Tea House w/Joe Jack Talcum, humanshapes
July 22: Lindenwold, NJ @ The Sex Dungeon w/Brick Mower
July 23: NYC @ Shea Stadium w/Crow Bait, Deep Pockets
July 24: Salem, VA @ Billy’s Barn w/Bastards of Fate
July 25: Athens, GA @ Slopfest
July 27: Atlanta, GA @ The Music Room w/Muuy Biien, Hip to Death
July 28: Chapel Hill, NC @ Night Light w/Wichita Falls
July 29: Charlottesville, VA @ Tea Bazaar w/International Friendly
(If you would like to be considered for Georgia Local Artist of the Week please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org )