Press to MECO – Transmute (Marshall Records)

A new bass player, a new album, a new world, a new Press to MECO?

The wobbly, distorted trio took three years to write this album – entire bands have seen their career come and go in less time – but they’re still the same whirlwind of sound that we loved so much on Here’s To The Fatigue

PTM’s early sound always had a rough edge; a non-stop growl, like the rottweiler chained to a fence in every washed-out, grindhouse film. As good as that growl was, it always felt delivered with a slightly nerdy charm.

New recruit bassist/vocalist Jake Crawford has added muscle to the line up. He’s the high school jock learning how to play chess in your American high school comedy of choice.

His influence comes to the fore on Gold, one of the album’s singles and a heavyweight’s right hook of a song. It builds slowly, punctuated by bass riffs as deep as the Mariana Trench, before exploring in an orgy of noise, underpinned by a breakdown that wouldn’t feel out of place on Landmvrks latest powerhouse of an album.

In an interview with Punktastic, the band described how Crawford has brought a fresh perspective to things, but there are still elements of Press to MECO’s music that has remained blissfully unchanged.

Those distorted, three-part harmonies that are about 5% away from sounding oh so wrong just sound oh so right – a feature we loved back in 2015 and still love now – are alive and kicking on Way to Know and album opener Another Day.

“Jake’s also given us the opportunity to add some extra spice where we haven’t been able to before, especially in the heavier side of the vocals,” said vocalist/drummer Lewis Williams.

While all those loveable elements of PTM are still there, Transmute feels like a more grown up record. Not grown up in the sense of maturing, grown up in the sense of personal development.

Nobody wants to stand still in life, including the Press to MECO boys. There’s an added something, something to their music. A slow, threatening riff on Smoldering Sticks, a haunted howl followed by a rogue trumpet on Sabotage. It’s all good shit.

PTM finished off their interview with Punktastic saying they might have one more album left in them. You’d bloody hope so – the rock landscape will look a lot bleaker without them.