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.