Music

Pushmen: The Sun Will Rise Soon on the False and the Fair

Thrash/metal/punk outfit hits all the expected notes but brings nothing new.


Pushmen

The Sun Will Rise Soon on the False and the Fair

Label: The End
US Release date: 2013-04-30
UK Release date: 2013-04-30
Amazon
iTunes

The Sun Will Rise Soon on the False and the Fair is a pretty ballsy, Fairport Convention-y kind of album title for a thrash/metal band to slap on a relentless album of smash-mouth power chordage, and it carries with it a certain promise: the promise that there will be more to this release than just the usual by-the-numbers aggression, pummelling drumming, and finger-blistering fretwork. All that stuff is pretty stale by now, having been done countless times before, and Pushmen's album title (and even the cover art) held out the suggestion -- no, the promise -- that this particular outing would cover some different ground. Alas, none of that happens. This is a thrashy, shrieky, noisy, not very original record. So much for ballsy titles.

Well, okay, but are there riffs? Are there grooves? Sadly, not as many as there should be. Overall, in fact, this record just isn't very appealing. The problems start up front, with the very first track. "Child From Chaos" offers up an uneven, stop-and-start guitar line that sounds yanked from the middle of some prog opus, and the fact that it's smothered in distortion and backed by a relentless rhythm section doesn't make it any more listenable. Before long the screaming vocals kick in, and it's pretty much game over. Craig Moore has an okay voice, but there is nothing particularly outstanding about it, and it has one setting: loud. The vocals throughout are shrieking, gritty, hoarse and about as melodic as a box of cans falling down the stairs. Now, none of this is especially damning for this genre of music. What is damning is that none of this is memorable in any way.

Tunes follow one after the other, and while there are moments of okay-ness, none of the tracks really gel from start to finish. In a weird way, Pushmen are almost a kind of jazz band, in that their music is felt from the head up -- the wonky time signatures, the tempo shifts and so on -- rather than from the hips down, in the mesmerizing groove that marks the best metal of whatever stripe (Electric Wizard, Kylesa, Venom, whatever). Probably the best track here is "Born Again Too Late", with its downtempo doomy vibe, and "…Silenus Beside Me", which is built around a solid, straightforward riff. At such moments the listener gets a glimpse of a band that's struggling to find its voice, and the record that might have been.

Unfortunately, those moments are brief. More representative are tunes like "Vortex Philosophy Blues" with its constantly shifting sections that never allow the tune to settle in and rock, and the truly unlistenable "Blaze Some More Hate", a song which labors under the false assumption that screaming even louder than usual will ramp up listener interest.

Pulling members from many other bands, including Made Out of Babies and Heartless bastards, along with drummer Kevin Fender of the Sword, Pushmen certainly looked to have the makings of a solid band. The Sun Will Rise Soon... just goes to show that nothing is guaranteed, however. Some listeners might enjoy it, especially those on the math-rock side of the thrash spectrum (um, are there any such?), but for most of us, Pushmen just end up trying too hard to do too much with too little.

4

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image