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Rooney - Eureka Album Cover

Rooney - Eureka

Reviewed by
7.4
Rooney - Eureka
Record Label: California Dreamin'
Release Date: June 8, 2010
If the title of Rooney's third full-length album gives you the impression that the band has rediscovered their sound and changed their perspective... well, then prepare to be disappointed. Okay, allow me to reiterate: the band has matured since their 2003 debut, but have sort of leveled out and plateaued. It's that stage in their career where nothing on this album is going to blow you away, like you have never heard it before in some manner. It's just... nice. Pleasant. Non-threatening.

In other words, Eukeka is harmless West Coast pop-rock soaked in sunshine with a heavy dose of 1960's California tranquility. While it's not all bad, it really doesn't hold up as well as it intends to. It won't stand the test of time, either due to unusually forgettable hooks or trying too hard to be "classic" in all sense of the word. The band's first album on their own independent label, California Dreamin' (natch), it should please anyone who might yearn to see Brian Wilson filling in for Rivers Cuomo as Weezer's vocalist someday.

"Holdin' On" recalls Into the Great Wide Open-era Tom Petty and if "I Can't Get Enough" doesn't give you the urge to listen to Weezer, then you must be missing something (although it's not the best choice for a single). "The Hunch" is ridiculously intoxicating, like the perfect sip of golden beer on a breezy summer afternoon. "Stars and Stripes" is the record's most interesting offering, symbolic of the Berkeley-style peace anthems from the late-60's. Sure, the message comes off a bit trite in this day and age, but the experiment works nicely. The vintage recording style appears to be a large focal point in the self-production, which tends to be rather heavy-handed, however the record may certainly play well on a warm summer's evening. That is, if you're not looking for something too embarrassing or, say, challenging.

Having more in common with their self-titled debut, many of the tracks are lightweight cuts that seem less interested in quality songwriting over lush instrumentation and sonic elements that make every piece of the song have its moment ("I Don't Wanna Lose You"). Rooney does a fine job at impersonating that laid-back '60's pop-rock vibe, at times trying to be the Beatles ("Only Friend") or a Brian Wilson ballad ("Into the Blue"). And really, it's not all that bad, seeing that it's a nice change from the angier and dingier pop-rock that focuses far more on overproduction and vacancy over actual craft. Even at their "hardest" ("Not in My House"), the band seems like they are living in a better time.

You have to remember: optimism doesn't always have to be cliche, and while the band struggles lyrically ("Stars and Stripes" has Robert Schwartzman trying to imitate Joni Mitchell or the Byrds), they still know their strengths. It certainly lacks the overall abundance of youthful enthusiasm of previous releases, but it has a relaxing atmosphere to it all that just needs more 4th of July in its summer calendar.

Sit back, grab some tasty waves, cool buds... and you'll be fine.

Recommended if You LikeWeezer; California, circa 1969; the Beach Boys; Phantom Planet's The Guest
Choice Cuts"Stars and Stripes," "The Hunch" and "Only Friend"


Online VitalsOfficial Site | Official Myspace | Official Facebook Page | Official Twitter
PurchaseAmazon MP3 | iTunes Deluxe Edition | iTunes
This review is a user submitted review from Chris Fallon. You can see all of Chris Fallon's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 14 of 14
07:42 PM on 06/09/10
#2
chiggles
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I was going to check out this band a few days ago, but reading this made me change my mind. Good review.
03:02 AM on 06/10/10
#3
simplejack
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I prefer listening to the self-titled, at their third album, there is nothing new to the table
05:53 AM on 06/10/10
#4
birtcho
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This or Hanson?
07:14 AM on 06/10/10
#5
cereal4life
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I like the review, Chris! Can't say that I have the urge to go out and get it. Their albums are a bit hit-and-miss for me.
09:02 AM on 06/10/10
#6
ChristynNicole
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If you are looking for your soundtrack for the summer, I think this album is a great fit. Honestly, the album makes me want to make a mimosa, grab my sunglasses, and have a dance party on my roof. When so many bands are writing about how their relationships have failed, Rooney has taken their songs and made it about being young and loving life. If you haven't heard it yet, I definitely suggest that you AT LEAST, go stream it on their myspace....and check out this video:

10:56 AM on 06/10/10
#7
radxbandit
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last line, nice.
12:41 PM on 06/10/10
#8
3eb23
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i should pick this up on the way home today
01:23 PM on 06/10/10
#9
Chris Fallon
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Hmm. Depends. This isn't as polished, but both provide a good helping pop-rock. I'm at a loss -- I like what both bands are going, but I do personally think Hanson pulls it off better. They are really close though.
05:24 PM on 06/10/10
Mark Hoppusb182
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awesome album. solid guys!
08:42 PM on 06/10/10
hectorial85
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I'm a huge Rooney fan. They're tops.
09:10 PM on 06/10/10
N30n ScEne BOi
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BOoOOoOOoOoOOoO ReeeeenG XDXD
04:27 AM on 06/11/10
birtcho
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Hmm. Depends. This isn't as polished, but both provide a good helping pop-rock. I'm at a loss -- I like what both bands are going, but I do personally think Hanson pulls it off better. They are really close though.

Yeah I think I'm going to stick to Hanson, based on your rec and remembering my fanboy days of mmmbop as a 10 year old haha. Will check out a few of Rooneys new songs and maybe grab that later on
12:47 PM on 06/11/10
violets
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I definitely recommend this album (and their previous work0, but mainly based on the strength of the instrumental music--I do think that the band needs to work on its lyrical content. Based on the content from members other than Schwartzman on this album ("The Hunch" and "Into the Blue") and what Taylor has done with Taylor Locke and the Roughs (which is awesome--I like them more than I like Rooney), I think that they might make some progress if they opened up songwriting more to all members of the band.

Rooney's an awesome band, and they're all incredibly talented musicians (particularly, after I saw them live, Locke and Louie Stevens). They need to clear up a few lyric issues, but other than that, this is a really great album--perfect if you're planning on taking a roadtrip this summer.

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