Press To MECO are a band that refuse to be pigeon-holed. In the middle of a British scene that is blossoming at an incredible rate, the London-based trio have established their own niche and are shouting it from the rooftops in their sophomore LP ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’.
Having recorded it at the end of 2016, they had been sitting on the material for some time, with label complications delaying the initial November 2017 release. With the new year, however, came their announcement of signing with Marshall Records and that the album release was back on track, scheduled for the end of March 2018.
The album opens with a classic intro track. An utterance of “are you ready?” is followed by the the gradual build-up of their distinctive sound: the pulse of Adam Roffey‘s bass; the crackle of Luke Caley plugging in his jack lead; Lewis Williams getting a feel for his drum kit. This warm-up becomes a tease, before the riff they are teasing bursts into life just seconds later. With huge guitars, falsetto harmonies, gang vocals and a window-shattering break down, ‘Familiar Ground’ gives you a well-rounded idea of what to expect from the marvel that is Press to MECO.
The melodic whirlwind gathers momentum, with the title track adding some grit to the track listing. Despite more rasp in the vocals and the chugging of guitars during the verses, they stay loyal to the fundamentals of the same formula.
Then comes the album’s first single, initially released in the summer of 2017. ‘If All Your Parts Don’t Make A Whole’ is nothing short of an alt-rock triumph, with the trio at their harmonising best from the very beginning. The beauty of their melody and harmony is somewhat juxtaposed by the song’s subject matter. “I see disaster right round the corner” they chant in the choruses, as they to address being in the middle of a quarter life crisis.
The pendulum swings back in the direction of angst, with ‘Skip the Crawl’, before they bring the tempo right down with ‘A Place in it All’. The track opens with guitar and a single vocal track, accompanied by minimal bass, percussion and backing vocals. Its gradual crescendo culminates in a swaying climax of “maybe it was best to die with everyone else“, before bringing it back down to just guitar and vocal for a delicate close. In an LP packed full of rapturous highs, the emotion of ‘A Place In It All’ becomes all the more prominent.
‘Howl’ brings the tempo up once more, adding something of a pop-punk ballad to the mix. It is perhaps the most interesting track of the record, showing where their influences lie from the pop-punk and alt-rock worlds. Much of its instrumentation and melody can be compared to the likes of Fall Out Boy (the early years, of course), with the trio’s now-familiar harmonies adding that extra flair. A Biffy Clyro-eque break down follows, before it comes to a close with a climax of gang vocals and some must-have howls in a song with a title such as this.
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Quite often, you get to the 8th, 9th, 10th song of an album and both you and the record itself run out of steam. This seems to a reality that the three of them wanted to make a physical impossibility. ‘Quick Fix’, ‘Itchy Fingers’ and ‘The Things That We Don’t Talk About’ are three-pronged power play of riffs and attitude that demands that you take notice. With more punk and metal influence in the guitar lines in particular, these tracks would be felt more at home at a tent at Download than at Reading & Leeds.
‘White Knuckling’ is the nostalgia-driven climax that the album deserves. As a demonstration of musical dynamism, the LP is a statement. As a piece of production, they have found a sweet spot that very few others would dare consider. To choose to occupy that sonic space may be bold, but it allows you to hear the pessimism and caution in many of their lyrics, despite the power of their bass, guitar and drums in the mix. “Maybe it’s all for the best but you never got to know me” are lyrics that can resonate with most, and this vulnerability or pessimism is evident at many points through the album. They may put on a thunderous front, but there is far more depth their lyricism than some may be led to believe.
Perhaps the best thing about this colossal release is the fact that you know they will deliver it immaculately live. Shows as tight and in-sync as those involving Press to MECO are few and far between so, if you give this album a spin and like what you hear, it is imperative that you take advantage of their evergreen tour diary and see them in the flesh.
‘Here’s To The Fatigue’ is out now via Marshall Records.