Eureka Machines: Brain Waves

Leeds’ foremost underground pop-rock chancers’ fourth LP.

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Eureka Machines don’t really ‘do’ bad songwriting. Their Brian Wilson-rivalling harmonies and attuned ear for interesting, attractive melodic shifts don’t really allow it. As such, Brain Waves – a scuzzy marriage of pretty pop rock, punk and articulate angst – brings more of the characterful professionalism we’ve come to enjoy from this tight, underrated crew.

Paranoia bursts out of the blocks in a pop-punk fury, and the likes of Sleep Deprivation, though reticent at first, grow into reliably commanding choruses – i.e. chipper and friendly, yet introverted and quietly tortured at the same time.

Strong, sound stuff, even if much of it lacks the same blossoming, eye-widening factor – the same tuneful completeness – they’ve achieved previously. Even so, despite uncertain elements Brain Waves has some heartstring-tugging, charismatic yet relatable moments. The bouncily pensive title track is a lovely high point. Human is a punching piece, its quietly poetic ‘I’m only human’ refrain both sweet and sad, and Vulture Of The Culture soars into a scintillating pop chorus.

For their strongest work, turn to previous LP Remain In Hope. But for a loveable yet feisty piece of well-crafted, literate pop rock, it’s well worth owning.

Classic Rock 214: New albums A-L

Polly Glass
Features Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is features editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.