by Scott Hefflon
Austin, Texas hard rock band Pushmonkey combine Rage ATM guitar, Faith No More bass, strong, emotional lead vocals, and Van Halenish choruses to form a volatile, yet radio-friendly sound both refreshing and familiar. Similar to fellow Austinites, Seed, an emotional, kinda proggy, kinda grunge-by-schooled-musicians band from the mid-’90s, Pushmonkey have songs, I mean songs, with reaching melodies, huge choruses, and jamming double guitars. While Mike Clink’s production is arena rock (G’N’R, Aerosmith), the everyone-sings style of Pushmonkey is intimate and personal, yet filled with cock rock theatrics. Listening to the songs, you can almost see the guitarists stomping about the stage, the lead vocalist bending back to belt it out so even the heavens can hear him, and the drummer twirling sticks when not hitting things very, very hard. And while occasionally embellished with NINisms (or more accurately, early GLUisms), the songs are all about heartache, self-sustaining beliefs, and all sorts of positive, unhokey sentiments. Backed by Bill Ham (ZZ Top’s manager, not Lollipop‘s writer), the William Morris Agency, and an increasing presence on radio, Melrose Place, and movie soundtracks, Pushmonkey is a band on the move.
(6 W. 57th St. New York, NY 10019)