For five years, Press to MECO have orbited the UK rock scene on a relentless flightpath of round trips, but soon enough, it’ll be the UK rock scene orbiting them. Not only is their debut album, ‘Good Intent’, set to be one of the sleeper hits of the year, but these Crawley / Croydon hotshots have found their flair in flavouring blisteringly techy hooks and djent-esque time signatures with infectious pop sensibilities.
From a melting pot of early influences including System Of A Down, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Sum 41, Press to MECO have flipped a defiant finger to convention through schizophrenic choruses and triple-headed vocal harmonies. “The scattier side of our sound is a really natural thing,” says guitarist / singer Luke Caley. “None of us have any boundaries or expectations of what a song should sound like. The best moments [in our creative process] are the moments of madness, when we’re just pissing about!”
“We all bring the fucked up nature to [the music],” adds drummer / singer Lewis Williams. “We all bring the techy aspect to it as well because a lot of that comes out when we’re jamming. Sometimes there’ll be a bit of conflict because I think we’re all quite strong-headed, but we’re always quite diplomatic.”
Capturing moments of spontaneity is vital to Press to MECO’s sound, and while ‘Good Intent’ is a constantly unpredictable body of work, it’s an ongoing challenge for the band to catch their own curveballs. “It’s annoying because I sometimes write music in my sleep,” says Lewis. “I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and have a good idea in my head, and I’ll be like ‘I should write this down’, but then I’ll be like ‘Nah, fuck it, go back to sleep, you’ll remember it in the morning…’”
Almost everything surrounding Press to MECO spurs astronomical wonderment, from the colossal technicalities through to the cosmic shower of colours that adorns the artwork for ‘Good Intent’. Even the band’s name is taken from a NASA term used during a shuttle launch: “’MECO’’s an acronym for ‘Main Engine Cut Off’” Luke educates. “In a shuttle launch, once it’s reached enough momentum to make orbit without the engines, they say ‘Press to MECO’. It’s the signal that everything went okay during the launch, and there’s no turning back from there.”
Look further into the comparatively raw and realistic production of ‘Good Intent’, however, and you’ll discover that there is something far more human to Press to MECO than it seems… “We take a lot of pride in our live sound and performance, and a lot of time to make sure that we can play the songs live,” explains Luke, “so to overproduce something almost doesn’t do justice to the song.”
“There was a degree of risk because we’d never recorded anything this raw,” bassist / singer Adam Roffey recalls. “It’s not At The Drive-In-raw, but whenever we’ve recorded before, we’d always layered up tracks to try and make it sound massive. There was definitely an element of going in blind a bit, but we were confident from the start and I think it definitely paid off.”
This newfound ethos of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ has enabled Press to MECO to make a record that, according to Luke, “feels like a performance rather than a clinical recording”. The result? A beautiful contradiction of otherworldly innovation and down-to-earth sincerity, encasing the trio in a tasty nutshell.
Whether you think that they’re a pop band that plays tech-metal songs, or a tech-metal bands that plays pop songs, Press to MECO are building their momentum at warp-speed. Everything’s A-OK for this (inter)stellar trio, and there’s certainly no turning back now…
Taken from the November issue of Upset, out now. Press to MECO’s album ‘Good Intent’ is out now.
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