By Eureka Machines
Chris Catalyst appears to have had his sinister fingers in any number of Leeds-baked pies in recent years. The press release says that "none of that's important right now", but his efforts with Robochrist, The Scaramanga Six and the current incarnation of the Sisters of Mercy serve to inform us that this latest project - the Eureka Machines - might be worth a listen. Even if I know little about them personally, the fact that his bandmates trade under the names of Davros, Morricone and Wayne Insane lends a healthy dollop of irreverence and self-deprecation to proceedings.
The lead track from this demo doesn't bother hanging around, preferring to hit directly with its punchy chorus. Weighing in at under two and half minutes, it's a sprightly workout of lean guitars, stabbing synths and the odd bit of woo-ooing thrown in for good measure. Whilst this clearly isn't a band that takes itself too seriously, they're clearly dedicated to having a good time in the studio. Recalling the theatricality of Mr Catalyst's previous on-stage efforts, it's not surprising to find the band delivering tunes that wear a wry smile along with their sharp riffs.
The other two tracks more than stand up on their own merits, too. 'The Story of My Life' would warrant some occasional bleeping on daytime radio, to be sure, but the mode of delivery only serves to demonstrate the underlying sense of humour at play here. 'Scream Eureka' is more of a straight up-and-down rock workout; taut, noisy and building to a cathartic conclusion. As an eponymous effort it's something of a rallying cry for a new band who have every chance of going places.
I once saw the original Eureka Machine at a museum; a 19th century invention capable of composing random verse, music and an 'abstract visual display'. I've got a feeling that behind this knowing nod to randomness, these boys have a far clearer idea of what they're doing. And in fact, if someone had slipped Archimedes this disc back in the day then he'd probably have given the bath a miss, only to later be found screaming Eureka back at the speakers instead.