If you’re been a regular on the Barnsley indie/alt-rock circuit for the last few years, then you’ll be familiar with the guys behind new band Pusher. If you know their previous bands and then you’ll know how damn good they were. I, for one, followed them often and still listen to their output now, so I was more than a little excited to hear the news of new band Pusher appearing on the scene.
The band launched early last year and already have gigs in London, Liverpool and Manchester under their belts. Of their debut track ‘Shoot Life’, the NME said it was ‘hair raising slides of guitar and moody vocals make for an absorbing debut track.’ I consumed all three tracks they released digitally last year, eagerly awaiting a record I could actually get my hands on.
And now here it is, new single Let It break on beautiful white 7” vinyl.
As the vinyl crackles, the lead track creeps up on you with a psychedelic Hookworms-esque drone and then it rings out like a siren, with a break beat that takes you back to them good old early days of The Chemical Brothers. There is always an interesting juxtaposition of the uplifting and the darkness with anything these fellas touch and they have always had a very specific and unique vision – even down to the visuals, and the dawn of Pusher sees that truly coming to fruition. Here Gilroy’s baritone turns this rave into a bloody ritual, drenched in reverb. And as the song plays out, I hear something akin to the breakdown of Prodigy’s Narayan.
Gilroy has always had a vocal-air of Lee Hazlewood around him. And now, with Let it Break, that comparison is cemented. Did you ever hear Slowdive cover Hazelwood’s Some Velvet Morning? This definitely has a snifter of that about it.
And b-side ‘I Have Loved’ is just as good, and see’s Gilroy use a much bigger vocal range than usual, hitting higher notes that you might expect. The guitars come to the forefront this time, rather than the Scarff’s, with soaring slide guitar.
There is an air of knowing arrogance that surrounds this band, and even the name suggests big ambition. It’s not enough though, to put you off. Beneath the bravado is genuine talent and music that oozes both aggression and emotion.
There is something inherently 90s about Pusher, yet at the same time, they are already far ahead what most (and I don’t want to say it – fuck it, I’ll say it) ‘indie’ bands are doing right now. They have cherry picked some of the finer elements of the best bands and genres since the 60s and cultivated something very special.
These tracks are beyond accomplished – as were the three the band previewed briefly on their facebook page last year. I could go on about the guitars and bass and how good they are – but ultimately, Pusher go beyond simply being a rock band – much like Primal Scream did when they got the beats out. Or maybe it has more in common with say Mark Lanegan’s collaborations with Soulsavers. Recent reviews refer to Pusher as ‘one of the UK’s brightest new guitar bands’, but they far more than that, which is why I was hesitant to use the word ‘indie’. They might be picked up by that crowd but they deserve to be embraced by all others – and probably will. I look forward to a full album and home town date soon.