Press To MECO
16th October 2015 – Best Before: Records
01. Family Ties
02. Diffusion Of Responsibility
04. Means To An End
09. Tired Bones
11. Sacred Ground
Croydon’s Press To MECO have been around long enough now that their post-hardcore tinged rock has taken them the length and breadth of the UK more than once. Following the release of their absolutely marvellous and critically acclaimed 2013 Affinity EP fans have been chomping at the bit for something new, something more expansive. The wait is finally over.
Good Intent starts life with “Family Ties”, a track that has been floating around since April last year, and which exemplifies the band’s sound neatly. Re-recorded from the version attached to its video, the harmonious redux hits harder than before, but its dynamic edges feel warm and decidedly familiar. By contrast, newer cut “Diffusion Of Responsibility” is more jagged in its attack; pummelling bursts pack a punch, which blend perfectly into “Honestly” – a clever lyrical ode to Breaking Bad that triggers somewhat of a fangasm when you realise what it’s about, but is delivered in such a way that it expands upon the themes and actively challenges the listener’s own sense of morality. Just how far are you willing to go to protect the ones you love? The clever lyrics always circle back to the title of the record and it’s overarching theme, and in this case it’s best explored with the aphorism “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
Things take a different tone with “Autopsy“: its slow-tempo fragility feels raw and unabashed. This is a welcome change; not only does it break up the album tonally, but its change of texture brings a more outwardly emotional slant to their approach. Fan favourite “Affinity” makes more sense when it comes in the surroundings of the album; its lyrically apathetic direction and chunky instrumentals breathe life into what is now a well trodden track for fans. It also happens to be one of the most sonically dynamic tracks on offer and can be likened to “Apprehension” and “Means To An End“; the angular riffing that comes standard to PTM adds to their thick and well textured sound.
Press To MECO’s punchy alt-rock approach at its most obvious with “Ghost“, flitting between angular riffing and clean passages. The instrumentals blend effortlessly in what is a decidedly short yet anthemic track, which finishes just as it just begins: really lifting off the ground and leaving a sense of unfulfilment behind – but as album closer “Sacred Ground” takes flight, that sensitivity returns. As an end to the record it feels somewhat subdued, but after the boisterous bursts that make up the rest of the album, it’s easy to forgive them.
Press To MECO are a spectacle to see live: their performance can only really be likened to a parent giving their kids some Skittles, handing them some instruments and throwing them on stage – yet, despite their hyperactive presence, the band never miss a beat. There can be no doubt that these tracks are designed to fit into their energetic and consistently brilliant live sets. In fact, PTM are everything that is brilliant about the burgeoning UK scene at the moment. Good Intent is a quintessentially British alt-rock album: its perfectly constructed harmonies and pop flourishes are formulaic, but by no means in a negative way – in fact, it’s a brilliant distillation of the style at large, and if Press To MECO aren’t massive by this time next year then something will have gone very wrong indeed.