Persistently energetic – Press To MECO show no signs of tiring on their highly anticipated second album, Here’s To The Fatigue.
This is a tough one to write. While it can be apparent, at points, where PTM draw their inspiration from, I am confident in saying that there is no other band in the scene at the moment quite like them. Honestly, I had heard the name ‘Press To MECO’ around the time of their debut release, Good Intent, but I never really engaged with the band for one reason or another. In retrospect, I really should have paid more notice and, while Good Intent is a solid record, Here’s To The Fatigue steps it up a notch. Now, the guys have my undivided attention and will undoubtedly capture the same response for anyone lucky enough to lay their ears on this album.
After climbing through the album’s Intro, we head into Familiar Ground. It’s a pulsating start to the album and perfectly establishes the foundations for the riot that is sure to follow. The breakdown is particularly impressive with angular rhythms that could peak or plummet at any given moment, it could have been plucked straight from an Arcane Roots song (a compliment of the highest degree, let me assure you). Additionally, we are allowed to flirt with the impeccable technical aspects of the band – namely, the frills from Luke Caley’s 6-string that effortlessly lace the verses and ensure every listen is as exciting as the previous one.
The album’s titular track features similar highlights to its predecessor. The chorus is a blinder and I’m already picturing the aggressive finger points from the crowd whilst yelling “Here’s to the fatigue!” at a live show. The track is driven by a pace that never ceases – an undoubted hit. If All Your Parts Don’t Make A Whole is a banger and is absolutely my favourite song from the record. It’s adopted the nickname of “the gallop song” in my university house – simply because, every time we listen to it, we can’t help but perform a Gangnam Style-esque gallop across the front room. Weird right? Listen to the song and you’ll get it. I hope to showcase this revolution at the next PTM show that I can make it to.
Once again, with Skip The Crawl, PTM flex their musical capabilities with their customary three-part harmonies and instrumentation that is measurably syncopated at points and seemingly untethered at others. Maybe this song doesn’t leave quite as much as a lasting impression as others on this album, simply because we are somewhat accustomed to this approach from the band. It’s a fine track, but there isn’t really that ‘wow’ factor that sets it apart from the crowd. On the other hand, A Place In It All is a unique effort in this album. More pedestrian in pace and slightly more stripped back, we are afforded some respite from the otherwise unrelenting energy that is demonstrated on the remainder of the album.
The vocal melodies in Howl are tremendously quirky as they dance atop of a customarily intricate sounding verse. Typically, the harmonies shine and glide effortlessly throughout making for another delightful listen. Moreover, the intermittent riff demonstrates a chunk that rattles you to your core. Entirely provocative – when this one kicks off, you are going to want to get moving. The breakdown encapsulates this and we’re all partial to a bit of math-rock, right? Capped off with a cacophonic ramble, Howl continues the riot.
A Quick Fix is a seriously impressive song that will have you instantly hooked from the blistering riff with which it opens. Lewis Williams’ lyrics are delivered with spite and venom, it’s a dynamic that suits the boys and one that they have not shied from before. However, for the most part, this album will have a ‘happy’ feel to most listeners and so having your face blown off by something a bit more brutal is a nice change of pace. Itchy Fingers doesn’t let this us, with the breakdown/outro being notably stroppier in tone than the majority of the record. This couplet of songs injects a new burst of life into the listener – amply priming us for the album’s closers.
Sonically, The Things That We Don’t Talk About really is more of the same. The lyrics, however, shine through as this song tackles the topic of quite literally, the things that we don’t talk about. Perhaps, we are uncomfortable or just plain scared to address some of the most important aspects of human life – namely death. Nonetheless, this track demonstrates how Press To MECO are capable of adopting an unflinching approach to the more serious or poignant topics in life. As a closer, White Knuckling serves as a solid summary in the sense that it displays nearly every dynamic that we had previously heard in the album. Whether it be the visceral, the melodic or the poised PTM – it’s all on offer here.
Eventually, it’s going to be impossible not to have heard of these guys. Here’s To The Fatigue is an absolutely huge step in the right direction for Press To MECO and, hopefully, after the touring cycle that will surely follow, as well as festival season, it’s a name that will be on the tips of people’s tongues. A fusion of everything that made us fall in love with music – Here’s To The Fatigue is a triumph that’s not to be missed.