REVIEWS

 

Eureka California have been working in the trenches of the Athens music scene since 2011, redefining the bounds of pop music and challenging the limitations common to drums-guitar duos. On the surface, nuance seems foreign to the band, but amidst their blinding attack lies an understanding of dynamics which makes for a rollercoaster of a listening experience. On their most recent album, 2016’s Versus, the pair provided a cynical yet heartfelt deconstruction of Athens’ drinking culture and the idiosyncrasies of college town life.

Their new track “Wigwam” is the first part of the 3-song 7″ planned for February 24. The song begins with a surprising dose of bluesy swagger, but as it progresses Jake Ward’s earnest vocals and Marie Uhler’s punctual drumming propel the song into more comfortable (speedy) territory for the group. Eureka California is at their best when hurtling through hooks and leaving the listener hanging on each syllable, and “Wigwam” proves that though the band isn’t afraid to experiment, they also know how to focus their jams into fist-pumping anthems.

In a continued effort to provide affordable vinyl, Eureka California and HHBTM Records will release the 7″ for a measly $3, and if that isn’t enough reason to pick it up, the single will also feature a cover of the Superchunk classic “Slack Motherfucker.”

- Russell Rockwell, Immersive Atlanta (1/16/17)

In just under a year since releasing their last album “Versus,” Eureka California are back with a new single, “Wigwam.” The band had a set plan in mind when going into the studio: get in and knock it out and release a single to hold over ‘til recording the next full length. With “Versus” they went overseas to the UK and recorded with MJ at Suburban Home, but for “Wigwam” they decided to record here in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, with Dave Barbe (Sugar / Mercyland / Dave Barbe & the Quick Hooks) at his Chase Park Transduction Studio. Wasting no time, they recorded and mixed the single in one afternoon. A single on a tight budget, three tracks in under 8 minutes, hand-decorated sleeves — everything about this is economical. Eureka California have two brand new tracks, “Wigwam” and “Only Birds (No Feathers)”, and a cover of Superchunk’s “Slack Motherfucker.”

NOVEMBER TOUR DATES
2nd – Liverpool @ Macguires w/ Good Grief, Fort Baxter, & the AV Society
3rd – London @ Sound Savers w/ Witching Waves
4th – Brighton @ West Hill Hall w/ Cowtown, Bloom, & the Snivellers
5th – Exeter @ the Cavern w/ the Fairweather Band
6th – Cardiff @ the Moon w/ Pink Grapefruit, Multitap, & Guide Dog
7th – Glasgow @ Nice & Sleazy w/ Womps, Pale Kids, & Whyno
8th – York @ the Crescent w/ Shopping & Gauche
9th – Leeds @ Wharf Chambers w/ Milk Crimes
10th – Nottingham @ JT Soar
11th – Manchester @ Fuel w/ Gauche, & Unpaid Intern

- Troy Michael, Innocent Words (10/26/17)

Every time a record mailer shows up from Athens, GA, I light up. Especially when something shows up with that distinctive HHBTM stamp on the return address. So, imagine my delight when the new Eureka California 7” showed up at the office.

I dropped what I was doing, fired up the turntable and cranked the eff out of the stereo. “Wigwam” is just a pure blast of adrenaline, a garage-infused punch in the nuts that bombards its way through your speakers and impales what’s left of your brain in about the span of two minutes flat. Not bad, eh?

Speaking of not bad, how’s about a super-rad cover of “Slack Motherfucker” by Superchunk? Yep, the more I spun it, the more I actually dug the B-Side, which also contains the galloping “Only Birds No Feathers.”

Do yourself a favor. Head on over to the Eureka California Bandcamp page, plunk down 7 bucks for their new 45 and prepare to rock out harder than you have all year. Put simply, the Wigwam 7” from Eureka California is probably the most fun any self-respecting indie rock fan will have this season. Highly recommended.

- Benjamin Ricci, Performer Magazine, (5/3/2017)

With the success and acclaim of their last album, Versus, still pretty much ringing in ears since its release just short of a year ago, US garage rock/pop duo Eureka California break up the  time before its successor with a new EP. Offering three slices of the band’s garage rock infused pop ‘n’ roll, the Wigwam EP is as sonically dysfunctional and magnetic as the Athens, Georgia hailing band’s last full-length but with a rawer quality which just hits the spot.

Wigwam is DIY old school, a flip back to the seventies with its design, recording, and release. Created with Dave Barbe (Sugar / Mercyland / Dave Barbe & the Quick Hooks) at his Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, the EP was recorded and mixed in just one afternoon. The two new songs and a cover of Superchunk’s Slack Motherfucker which emerged from that session come covered in self-made art and between them, band and HHBTM Records have set its price at virtually cost. It is a throwback in many ways to when passion and fans came first though fair to say, the music is the biggest pull with it.

The EP’s title track swiftly draws ears into its hands with a wash of initial sonic smog from which a rhythmic pulse begins laying down even richer bait. A single elegant melody soon wraps its charm around song and imagination too, another potent teaser heading towards the subsequent fuzzy squall of Jake Ward’s guitar and Marie A. Uhler’s stirring rhythmic enticement. As the former’s vocals make their plaintive case, the track’s energy and intensity begins to accelerate, its punk instincts rising for a tremendous crescendo of a finale.

With ease, Wigwam’s great start is matched by the scuzzy power pop of Only Birds (No Feathers). Within seconds Marie’s jabbing beats alone ensure the song has its hooks deep in a rock ‘n’ roll appetite, their nagging trespass surrounded by the hooks spilling exploits of Jake’s fuzz yielding strings. It is a commandingly catchy affair, a rousing incitement as seemingly familiar as it is certainly fresh and inescapable fun.

The final sonic roar of Slack Motherfucker is equally as captivating, Eureka California managing to give the track greater instinctive energy as well as melodic dexterity without defusing the causticity of the original. It is a fine end if over shadowed by the band’s original songs on Wigwam, itself a very intriguing teaser for what is to come in the future from Eureka California while being a highly satisfying romp for the now.

The Wigwam EP is out now on 7” vinyl through HHBTM Record

- Ringmaster Review (3/25/17)

Pleasant pop offerings from Happy Happy Birthday To Me are not unusual, and Eureka California (no comma, and from Athens, GA, not Eureka, CA) is no exception. This platter offers eleven fun scrappy pop songs with a punk bent from a two-piece on guitar, vocals, and drums. The songs range from happy, to smartass (see “I Bet You Like Julian Cope,” which uses its title as half the lyrical content), to introspective. The music has variety, but comes together cohesively as a singular piece, and the vocals are a nice snotty whine that has an underlying sense of urgency that give the songs a sense of honesty. Eureka California might have been more appropriately called Sacramento California, given the semblance they have to bands from that fair city (that’s a really good thing).

–Vincent Battilana, Razorcake

 

For a duo, Eureka California make a hell of a lot of noise. The Athens indie rockers, comprised of drummer Marie Uhler and singer/guitarist Jake Ward, have just turned in their second full-length in 18 months, and far from sounding like a rushed out also ran, ‘Crunch’ is a remarkably satisfying slice of unpretentious college rock.

Tracks like “I Bet You Like Julian Cope” and “Sneaky Robby” combine the lyrical wit of someone like Jonathan Richman, but the music itself is equal parts Mudhoney and The Jam.
Much like their debut, this one is another whirlwind of short, frantic, but well-crafted power pop ditties that slams to an abrupt halt not long after you drop the needle – their longest song is three-and-a-half minutes long, but most hover around the two minute mark, so the duo are in and out like a band of indie rock ninjas.

John B. Moore, Innocent Words (8/1/2014)

Eureka California actually calls Athens, Georgia home and features the sarcastic, snarky musicianship of Jake Ward and Marie Uhler. The two have a penchant for capturing mid 90’s indie pop with subtle nuances that make eleven songs on Crunch memorable and instantly relatable. Ward, who labels himself “overeducated and underappreciated” in the band’s bio sings of life’s general frustrations for the twenty-somethings who will instantly recognize themselves within his lamentations. “Oh, I’m a deep thinker/And I know who Descartes is” he announces on the wryly-titled “Edith (One Day You’ll Live in a Bunker)” and declares, “You know Athens is dead” on “This is No A-side.” Alongside simple but richly harmonic riffs and a steady backbeat from Uhler, Ward’s lyrics tell tales of emptiness on “No Mas” (“Nobody will remember your name”) and general apathy (“I’d like to think that I still care”) on “There’s No looking Back,” a song that displays a more rambunctious side of the band, and while its never abandons its steadfast pop sensibilities, the track incorporates more aggressive punk aesthetics into its structure, a trait matched on the brief “I Bet That You Like Julian Cope.” The apex of the record is the self-reflective and self-ridiculing “Art is Hard.” Ward is a clever wordsmith who demonstrates a keen sense of acerbic introspection when he states, ”Money, money is everywhere, but there’s not a cent to spend/So what do I care? If I don’t get my share?” The song bounces in a manner similar to the A-side’s closing “#1 in the State”, but it also retains a tangible despondency that makes the track so intriguing. Ebbing and flowing in intensity, the song encapsulates the talent and comradery shared by these two skilled individuals. Some may claim that they have heard this before, but only if one is of a certain age: the kids just gaging the frustrations of a burgeoning adulthood will find this refreshingly identifiable and those who appreciate agitated pop will also find quite a bit to like.

– Jersey Beat (July 2014)

 

Well, ok, there’s a definite whiff of the 20th century’s final decade about Eureka California, specifically the clattering super-shonk of acts like Guided By Voices and Pavement, but the lines are far from greyed-out. Big Cats Can Swim is wide-screen, high-definition magnificence; brightly cheerful and thrillingly instant. The product of kids who know there’s no new shades on the spectrum, but are determined to have a blast mixing the colours.

The highlight, however, is the kinetic immediacy of ‘The Day No Trains Ran’: the band make like a stripped-down Olivia Tremor Control covering Archers of Loaf’s ‘Might’, powered simultaneously by the purposeful drumming of Marie Uhler and a shared energy that drizzles down from the speakers, straight into the listener’s feet. Ward hollers ‘it was a ticker-tape parade,’ and the overall effect is so goddamn euphoric you can practically feel yourself in the motorcade; innumerable strips of paper clouding your vision whilst gently caressing your skin. Heroic. Triumphant. Wonderful. It’s the sort of trick you wish pop music would pull off more often, though it rarely does.

Line of Best Fit (10/26/12)

 

Eureka California is an Athens band playing delightful garage rock – British invasion-influenced stuff that is really catchy, raw and kind of psychedelic, in the vein of the Nuggets comps or, say, 13th Floor Elevators or early Pink Floyd – or jumping forward to some of the Paisley Underground stuff like Rain Parade. Big Cats Can Swim is a really good record… as in, the more I listen, the more I like.

When You Motor Away (9/20/12)

 

Their album crackles and pops with great songs that retain the vital and immediateness that you would have experienced if you would have been in their garage when they were recording them. They have a lot of good ideas about crunchy pop songs and infuse a playfulness in them that many bands often forget.

The Finest Kiss

 

 

PRESS


2014

Razorcake review

Artrocker podcast

Live review of London show November 2014 at Whisperin and Hollerin

“I Bet That You Like Julian Cope” video premier at God is in the TV

Performer Mag review

Pop Stereo review

The Skinny review

Insite review (p. 20)

Innocent Words review

Raised by Gypsies review

Our Top 5 videos at Creative Loafing

Tuning Into the Obscure review

Twin Cities video premier at Brooklyn Vegan

Band of the Week at Examiner

Vinyl District review

Flagpole’s Favorite Records of 2014, first half

Fear and Loathing in Long Beach review

Get it On Vinyl Review

14 AthFest Undercards, Flagpole

MP3 at 3PM, Magnet

When You Motor Away review

Fabricoh Magazine review

Babysue review

Big Takeover review

2012

Tunabunny, Eureka California have new albums, touring, playing CMJ (Brooklyn Vegan)

WUOG’s Top 20 Local Albums of 2012 (WUOG)

Our Local Music Publication Finally Notices Us! (Flagpole)

Eureka California/Lame Drivers Split Release (Flagpole)

DuklPragueAwayKit

To Eleven

2011

Favorite Song Alert (Three Imaginary Girls)