Press to MECO perhaps never would have gone that far.
A decade after the start of their journey, in 2021 the alt. Rockers’ infusion of mathematical and angular compositions with sharp, crisp edges, daring fragility and unmatched agility has long stood out. It’s a sound driven by uncompromising originality, but seemingly poised for mainstream success. When 2018Here’s To The Fatigue’s scintillating second album failed to fully deliver the breakthrough they so clearly deserved, however, the frustration, uncertainty and wear and tear of road life saw the bassist / singer Founder Adam Roffey walked away while fellow students Luke Caley (guitar / vocals) and Lewis Williams (drums / vocals) wondered if they should continue.
In every way, Transmute looks like a brave step forward. Exploiting darkness and disillusion, these 13 the tracks lead into more turbulent and introspective territory than ever before. After a shattering industrial intro, opener Another Day sees a stubborn melody twist against the huffing riffage and tongue-in-cheek admission that ‘I have the impression of pressing on the gas / On an already constant drop. At the other end, the classic, ostensibly optimistic, Press To MECO Banger Way To Know declares with a real challenge: ‘There is beauty in the indifference of life, but I haven’t found it yet.
Sonically, too, Smoldering Sticks looks like a rumbling showcase for ACODA‘s Jake Crawford – who steps in on bass – before unleashing his brilliantly incongruous ‘woo-ooh ‘, bells and whistles. The towering Baby Steps runs through massive, dark dynamics, from desperate emo to garish and mind-blowing post-rock. Sabotage slows down throttle again, delivering three minutes of octane blast and hand clapping, before dropping a quarter of the brassy grandeur that would be the pride of Muse of the Black Holes era.
Especially, press to MECOthe singular identity remains intact. For comparison, there are elements of Don Broco’s unpredictable playfulness, the haunting, juxtaposed sweetness of Sleep Token, and the boundless shine of Biffy Clyro here. But as the ever-closer wonderful hesitation rings in the silence, it’s even clearer that you could never have truly listened to someone else.
For fans of: Biffy Clyro, Don Broco, Arcane Racanes
Transmute is now available through Marshall
Posted on August 22, 2021 at 6:12 p.m.