On 30th March alt-rock trio Press to MECO released their second studio album Here’s To The Fatigue via Marshall Records. I first saw the band play at Fort Fest in 2016 and thought they were brilliant. The three lads from South London always put on a great show and look like they are thoroughly enjoying themselves whilst doing it, which makes their live performances all the more engaging. The band have been busy so far this year having been main support for Arcane Roots’ January tour, and also playing shows supporting Don Broco in February (Leeds show reviewed by Kristal), but tonight was their time to take centre-stage playing a very special sold-out album release show at The Black Heart in Camden.
First to take to the stage were alt-rock four-piece Future Love from Northampton, who have previous with Press To MECO as they too played a couple of the dates on the Don Broco UK tour in February. I hadn’t seen the band before but was instantly impressed. They all put 110% into their performance and their music was catchy and full of life. I really enjoyed their sound and would definitely go and see them play live again. They played a short but sweet set featuring an as-yet-untitled new track from their forthcoming EP that they are currently recording with the team behind Creeper…so if you are a fan then go check out Future Love!
Next up were five-piece Wallflower from South-London who continued the alt-rock theme of the evening. Meg from Future Love had said we were in for a treat and we certainly were! Wallflower were really energetic and played a blistering set including tracks from their latest EP Where It Fell Apart (released August 2017), their two most recent singles “Sleep Forever” & “Mas Eu Quero Mais”, plus a brand new track “Magnifier” which was my favourite of their set. The band had a cohesive look mostly dressed in black, and their songs were really easy to get into.
After a great start to the evening, it was time for the main event as Press To MECO bounded onto the stage to rapturous applause. The show was sold out and the room was rammed with people keen to hear the new album tracks played live. The band opened their set, as the new album does, with an “Intro”, transitioning into “Familiar Ground” – a track that sounded just as good live as anyone might have hoped. Their performance was as engaging as ever and the band’s energy was mirrored by the crowd who were all moving and grooving to the music. As ever Luke, Adam and Lewis gave everything to their live performance and the evening was a lot of fun. As well as tracks from Here’s To The Fatigue the band also treated the Camden crowd to a selection of tracks from their debut album Good Intent (2015), including “Diffusion”, “Honestly”, “Ghost” and “Affinity”.
In lieu of a full album review, here are a few words about Here’s To The Fatigue as I think it really is a great album from start to finish. Both lyrically and musically it covers a variety of themes and styles that magically come together to form a cohesive sonic piece. Something I really love is when bands produce music with a raw edge to it – not too polished – and the “Intro” track on this album is just that; if you close your eyes you could be there in the recording studio with the band as a voice announces “alright here we go, are you ready?” and it really makes you feel more connected to the music as well as the people playing it. “Familiar Ground” feels like a classic Press To MECO track, is catchy as hell and helps to set the tone for the rest of the record; upbeat and full of delightful musical surprises.
Title track “Here’s To The Fatigue” is fast-paced and well-suited to being played live with its infectious riffs. “If All Your Parts Don’t Make A Whole” opens with trademark Press to MECO harmonies before sliding into the sing-along-tastic “I see disaster right round the corner, I see disaster right round the bend” – something those of us who have slight issues with anxiety can relate to! “Skip The Crawl” features hard-hitting drums and a heavy bass-line; illustrating this talented three-piece’s musical diversity.
“A Place In It All” is the ballad of the album and features a sing-along chorus that wouldn’t be out of place sung in an arena. “Howl”, “A Quick Fix” and “Itchy Fingers” are a trio of heavier tracks and are amongst my favourites on the album. “The Things We Don’t Talk About” opens with big drums and a catchy riff that has a late 90s vibe to it, and for me, the chorus has a slight pop-punk flavour. Album closer “White Knuckling” has a simple and gentle start then dives into Social Distortion-esque territory. In a similar way to the stripped-back beginning to the track, “White Knuckling” ends with the spotlight on the drums, which also provides a satisfying ending to the album’s journey.
For me Here’s To The Fatigue is the soundtrack to a lazy day in a sunny beer-garden putting the world to rights with friends. It has a slightly bigger and more polished sound than 2015’s Good Intent and is a hook-filled, slightly goofy album with a palpable sense of fun that I think would appeal to a wide range of music fans. Press to MECO are surely destined for great things.
Photos by Katie Frost Photography