Review Summary: Re-treading ground that’s already been re-treaded.
Push Over (Thomas Erak and Kurt Travis) sound exactly how you’d expect them to sound: a hodgepodge of twiddly-diddly post-hardcore tropes in the vein of Dance Gavin Dance and The Fall of Troy, all noodle-y math-y guitars and intricate rhythmic acrobatics. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with this; it’s something that’s been done well in the past (by the artists’ former outfits no less) and I’m sure will be done well again. It’s just disappointing when veterans of the genre make a pale shadow of their own legacy, coming off as imitators of their previous work, re-treading ground that’s already been re-treaded (see: Blue Swan Records).
I guess if anything Push Over can be patted on the back for not going overboard with the technicality like so many imitators do, but that doesn’t excuse the plain lack of experimentation here; the majority of Demo
consists of the same staccato rhythms, fluid drumming and lacklustre post-hardcore freak-outs we’ve been hearing for a while. “This Lonely Love” just sort of meanders into the background, relying on a true and tested formula of lovelorn choruses against catchy nostalgic verses, which works well enough, although it strikes me as Push Over doing Dance Gavin Dance. Travis’ sugary vocals dance around the mellifluous guitars pretty smoothly as they always do, and the contrast drawn between his and Erak’s vocals is intriguing, but they never really do that much with it. There’s the possibility of some brilliant vocal interplay here yet it’s not brought to fruition, which is frustrating when you consider the versatility of these two vocalists. Although I probably shouldn’t be too hard on Push Over; Demo
is just a demo after all. But if it’s indicative of the work to come I’m disappointed.