Pusher hails from Louisville and features an impressive cast of ex-members as Steve Sindoni (vocals) comes to the band after handling vocals in Breather Resist and Matt Jaha (drums) comes from his former drumming duties in Black Cross and Coliseum. Unfortunately this release is a posthumous document of a short-lived group that just could not keep it together, but at least we have this eleven-song and roughly twelve-minute document with which to remember them.
"And We're Off" immediately reminds me of a noisier version of Municipal Waste with much different vocals. "Dirty Dream Guilt" and "Dull.Dull.Dull." only continue to reinforce this reminder. It takes the strange main guitar riff for "In His Image" to give the proceedings a bit of a change; and honestly, it is a bit unsettling and unexpected. "Nail Splitter" has some different guitar sounds that kind of disrupt this initial impression of Pusher.
The noise level and the album as a whole picks up by the time "Cronenberg" rolls around for a listen. The beginning is real odd when compared to the rest of the album; the music does this weird lurch before slamming into a fast-paced tempo that slows during the later part of the song. It makes a big difference in giving some variety to the CD. "Snowflakes" goes a long way to distinguishing itself as well with its real odd progression from snare rolls to noisy spoken word parts backed by discordant guitars and a pronounced, walking or rolling bass line. "Scapehole" and "Don't Cry Messiah" are everything that I was expecting of this record; lots of angular, noisy guitar riffs and pounding rhythms.
The packaging concept on this release is awesome; it has a cardboard "case" that is silk-screened inside and out. The cover art is pretty neat and looks real sharp, while the lyrics and other text are printed inside the cardboard sleeve. From the way the cardboard opens to bring the full artwork into view to the color choice to the basic presentation, this Pusher CD is pretty impressive as I have never seen anything done in this way before now.
Pusher may yet prove to be one of those "documents in time" that touches on a myriad of sounds and techniques that are going on in the current underground music scene. At present, it is an interesting record that has some real gems on it, and it is packaged in a neat way that represents the sounds within in some indiscernible way (it is just a feeling you get when you hold it in your hands). Pusher may have been hitting on something that might have had an impact on the underground music scene, but unfortunately, we will never know.
7.0 / 10
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