Press To MECO – ‘Here’s To The Fatigue’ (Album Review)
Press To MECO are, for my money, one of the best underground British rock acts since Reuben. Like the latter, they marry complicated arrangements with killer hooks, dirty riffs, and some extremely tasty harmony vocals. But Press To MECO remain in a league of their own thanks to a wide range of other influences, from Fall Out Boy to SikTh, Muse, and Arcane Roots.
“We’re set to witness something really special”
Press To MECO are living proof that if you just keep going, and work your ass off to get better than good, you can hit some impressive creative heights. Career-wise, they recently signed with Marshall Records (as in the amp brand), have plenty of live experience behind them, and put out a solid-gold stunner in 2015’s debut album Good Intent. Here’s To The Fatigue sonically embodies a stoical, gritted-teeth-in-the-face-of-adversity attitude – and it is of course that attitude which got Press To MECO where they are today.
This album’s intro nods in Reuben’s direction with some brief in-studio chatter, thunderous bass, and evil laughter before setting up Familiar Ground, an all-round winner that puts Press To MECO Version 2 through their paces. There’s a heavier emphasis on pop-punk, a way meatier sound overall, riffs with sharper teeth, a pristine chorus hook, and a fucking sick beatdown section…in short, Familiar Ground has the same initial impact as Family Ties did on Good Intent (previously reviewed here). It’s clear that we’re set to witness something really special.
With some awesome Muse-influenced tapping, great falsetto vocals, and steamrolling triplet rhythms, Here’s To The Fatigue (the song) was a definite personal favourite – and If All Your Parts Don’t Make A Whole pushes some dark lyrics to the fore over relatively optimistic music. The video for that last song is also one of Press To MECO’s most impactful, illustrating the often vast gap between offline life and unrealistic online highlight reels. Skip The Crawl is also cool, but ultimately overshadowed by the songs that come before and after it.
If the vocal performance (particularly toward the end) is anything to go by, A Place In It All cuts to the heart of everything Press To MECO are about. Their lyrics consistently tend toward to the philosophical, and A Place In It All ponders its narrator’s search for belonging, while also possibly expressing confusion over a terminated relationship. Plainly raw and multifaceted lyrical themes, disarming vulnerability, and a sense of the grand and epic all make A Place In It All the best track on the whole album.
By this point, Press To MECO have sketched out the boundaries of their newly refined sound – and the rest of Here’s To The Fatigue continues to deliver over and over again. Additional influences make cameos here and there – a Biffy Clyro moment during Howl’s bridge, a bit of Killswitch-grade chugging during A Quick Fix, some momentary Deftones vibes during Itchy Fingers – while more dark lyrics during the latter track, as well as the incisive The Things That We Don’t Talk About and closing track White Knuckling, keep things immersive rather than over-familiar.
Overall, Here’s To The Fatigue will fail to fatigue you even after several listens, while succeeding at everything else.
LTK RATING: 95% (Essential Listening!)
What do you think of Press To MECO? Follow me on Twitter here, and let me know!
Here’s To The Fatigue drops March 30 – pre-order it on iTunes here.