Even if you aren’t a fan, there’s a good chance you’ve probably heard The Push Stars without realizing. The band – who hail from Cambridge, Massachusetts – have featured on TV shows and movies like “Something About Mary”. You might have even heard them at a restaurant or in a book store. “Paint The Town” was released in 2004, and still sounds as fresh as it did a decade ago. It follows three previous studio albums (and an EP), and continues the group’s penchant for creating catchy pop rock that is hard to pin down to any particular genre. Here you’ll find well-written songs that are almost timeless in nature, with vocals from the highly talented Chris Trapper, as well as drums from Ryan MacMillan. Here is a review of The Push Stars’ album “Paint The Town”.
If you’ve listened to the band’s debut “Meet Me At The Fair” (available on the Imago label), or “After The Party” (released on Capitol records), you’ll already be familiar with the group’s style. The opening track ‘Claire’ is a great way to kick-start the set, and combined with ‘Outside Of A Dream’, these tracks sets the precedent for what’s to follow.
Listening to “Paint The Town”, it begs the question as to why the group haven’t seen bigger success over the last decade. The finely crafted pop rock songs contain strong melodies and vocals, and there’s plenty on the album to get excited about. There’s almost a jubilant quality to most of the tracks here, as the bouncy rock and roll beats evoke the early days of the genre when melodies were strong and lyrics carefree. But that’s not to say there’s no soul on “Paint The Town”. In fact, it’s the contrary. The album mixes positive energy but remains substantial, with tracks like ‘Dream Came Down’ and ‘Lucky Sevens’ having a solid quality with lyrics that will really resonate with listeners.
If you’re looking for something that encapsulates the lighter side of pop rock, “Paint The Town” is an album that can be enjoyed in one listen. Plenty of the songs will make you smile, with optimistic and cheery lyrics. Some might argue that Chris Trapper’s songs are too simple. However, on further listens, you’ll discover a real depth there – something you don’t always associate with the bright and breezy nature of pop rock. “Paint The Town” is cohesive, with each song flowing well into the next. It’s almost as if the songs have been designed for a live stage show, with many of the lyrics easy enough to remember and sing along to. After all, playing live is what The Push Stars do best, with the group developing a loyal following on the live circuit in Boston at the beginning of their careers.
The Push Stars have yet to release any new material since this album was released, and the band are on an official hiatus as frontman Trapper concentrates on his solo career, and MacMillan plays drums with Matchbox Twenty. Who knows if the group are to reform anytime soon, but in the meantime enjoy “Paint The Town” as if it was the group’s swansong.