Press To MECO
Here’s To The Fatigue
30th March 2018 – Marshall Records
2. Familiar Ground
3. Here’s to the Fatigue
4. If All Your Parts Don’t Make a Whole
5. Skip the Crawl
6. A Place in it All
8. A Quick Fix
9. Itchy Fingers
10. The Things That We Don’t Talk About
11. White Knuckling
For all of music’s variety and diversity, there are fundamentally just two ways that bands really distinguish themselves and set themselves apart from the pack: they either strike upon a fresh combination of elements to concoct a sound that is genuinely unique, or they take a tried and tested formula and deploy it with obvious and significant passion and skill. We’ve known, since before Press To MECO released their debut album Good Intent in 2015, that they sit comfortably in the latter category. Second album, Here’s To The Fatigue, simply and emphatically proves it.
For the uninitiated, Press To MECO specialise in three things: great riffs, gorgeous harmonies, and choruses big enough to interfere with air traffic. And that’s about it. Make no mistake, with this streamlined approach, Here’s To The Fatigue has the space to pack in more hooks than a Peter Pan cosplay event.
Press To MECO decamped to Texas in order to record Here’s To The Fatigue with the illustrious Machine behind the desk, a producer whose impressive back catalogue notably includes Lamb of God and a significant chunk of Clutch‘s discography. Like those Clutch discs, The album very much feels like it was recorded live, and that vibe is helped along by the album’s introduction, which sounds like a band tinkering about before falling in line and launching into the appropriately named “Familiar Ground“, a pure and perky slice of vintage PtM that only takes a listen or two before it feels like an old friend.
“Familiar Ground” neatly sets both the tone and the pace of the album, which remains unapologetically upbeat and positive. As winter finally releases its grip on 2018, Here’s To The Fatigue feels like a metaphorical ray of sunlight to match the literal ones now breaking through the clouds. Certainly, it feels more like an album to be listened to lying out on the grass rather than huddled in a blanket next to a radiator.
Lurking surprisingly far down the running order is “A Quick Fix“, which is a particularly strong contender for being THE quintessential Press To MECO song. Sitting at the heavy end if their spectrum it boasts, even by their high standards, a killer riff and – especially when played live – a thoroughly punishing drop in tempo as the finale. Rarely has the term ‘instant classic’ been more applicable.
The real key to the magic of Press To MECO’s songwriting is that although they paint in broad, easily accessible strokes, they follow up with a keen attention to detail and an unmistakable sense of joy. A little rhythmic twitch here, a subtle chord modification there, occasional bursts of startling heaviness (an especially thrilling one sits before the final chorus of “Howl“). These finishing touches are what nudge Here’s To The Fatigue from being a good album up to being a great one.
The songs aren’t all straight-ahead stompers, either – the title track is pleasingly swung, “A Place In It All” is an arena-filling singalong that feels like that natural successor to “Autopsy” from Good Intent, and a number of the songs feature gang vocals that have ‘Audience Participation’ stamped all over them. Album closer “White Knuckling” has a distinctly Beatles feel to it, and provides Here’s To The Fatigue with a rousing grand finale.
Given the circumstances of the recording sessions, it’s unsurprising that Here’s To The Fatigue sounds absolutely massive; the guitars are crisp and crunchy, the bass has a satisfying growl and you can practically feel the air moving with every kick drum hit and crack of the snare. Their three voices are distinctive enough to be able to immediately tell who is singing the lead (which appears to be fairly evenly split between them) but they also combine with those effortless harmonies to become much greater than the sum of their parts.
Ultimately, Press To MECO tap into the same rich seam of quality British alt-rock songwriting that has driven the likes of Reuben, Feeder, Hundred Reasons and many more, reaching all the way back to the Lennons and the Mccartneys. Tightly composed, effortlessly performed and devilishly infectious, Here’s To The Fatigue is an absolute joy that should – if there’s any justice in the world at all – propel Press To MECO into the big leagues. Runaway success could not happen to a more deserving band right now.