Alternative music reviews

Pushing Red Buttons

Pushing Red Buttons July 2003

Coming across like a modern mix of 10cc and They Must Be Giants, Pushing Red Buttons are a complete contrast to the guitar based depressing music I love so much. Whereas I found 10cc slightly annoying (they were known more a novelty band by passing acquaintances in the UK - rather than the talented multi-instrumentalists and songwriters they really were), Pushing Red Buttons are infectious in their enthusiasm. This is a keyboard-based band and you can tell because it would be difficult to dance to or even sway to. Friends I grew up with would have loved to sit down and roll a J to this.

The opening track That's Good For You has energy and dynamics and really stands out as a great way to start an album. There's loads of humour in Squares with it's theme of the 'reach out and touch someone square'. Voice of Reason has a feeling of sincere lyrics and opening of emotions - it may have a lot of musical technique that is unusual among contemporaries but it is frm the heart. The bonus track The Sum of Things is Pushing Red Buttons demonstrating that they can play indie as well as most - but with a bit more panache than many.

Steve Herrig (songwriter, keyboards and vocal) and Rich Gaglia (guitars, percussion) are the main musicians- and they are very talented. For me, it's music for the head, rather than the heart and body - dazzling musicianship and quirky time signature changes. It's kind of a modern equivalent of 70s/80s technical keyboard rock like Supertramp/Todd Rundgren but I think the world needs Pushing Red Buttons as a break from the some of the formulas that are played to death currently.

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