Goin’ Faster Miles an Hour with Eureka California

With overall unemployment at its lowest level since 2000; black and Latino unemployment at record lows; a robust and growing economy; over 2 million less people on so-called “food stamps” since the beginning of last year; manufacturing jobs on the rise; a tax bill benefitting the vast majority of the citizenry; hostages freed and nuclear concessions from North Korea; the safe return of hostage Joshua Holt from Venezuela; the rejection of the previous administration’s abysmal nuke deal with Iran; recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and the appointment of numerous circuit court judges who constrain themselves by the Constitution instead of attempting to rewrite it (to rattle off but a few accomplishments), to deny the condition of the United States is better overall now than two or four or eight years ago, one would have to be steadfastly delusional. Then again, that’s par for the course for most Athens bands, so when Eureka California describe their new LP as “a personal and political album about trying to survive in the Trump era,” ya just have to shake your head and laugh. You live in Athens, Georgia, for fuck’s sake. You can “survive” working part-time at the Taco Stand, if need be, which is why so many bands move there and stay there. It’s not our fault if you’re still rolling burritos 25 years later.

But, man, I must say that this aforementioned new album of theirs, Roadrunners (HHBTM Records) well it whips up a genuinely blistering ball of fire, with the duo (Jake Ward on vocals and guitar, Marie Uhler on drums) chugging through a rapid tantrum of choppy noise-pop spitballs that are bracing and delirious. Somewhat akin to Japandroids but with shorter songs and more striking guitar tones, and while I’m at it, it beats the shit outta that last Superchunk album! Somehow, in the midst of the dire hardships, pain and misery brought on by Donald Der Fuhrer, Eureka California managed to afford the luxury of travelling to Leeds, England to record Roadrunners, so things can’t be that bad.

They’re headlining Little Kings Shuffle Club in Athens on Friday, June 22nd as part of AthFest.