Passion Pusher – Aquarium

Album Review by Pete Wild | 12 Jun 2017
  • Passion Pusher – Aquarium
Album title: Aquarium
Artist: Passion Pusher
Label: Song, by Toad
Release date: 16 Jun

Your feelings about Passion Pusher will be determined by what you make of James Gage’s voice. If you’ve always leapt to the defence of Mark E. Smith when he gets described as singing like a barmy tramp on Spice, then Gage will give you more to defend. Off-key, stretched and out of tune, this is a vocal style that wouldn’t be out of place on a Glasgow street at three in the morning.

But there will be those for whom the lack of polish is the point. The fact that Gage had uploaded over 220 EPs, albums and demo tapes to Bandcamp by the age of 19 will also demonstrate to those kindred spirits that here is an uncompromising, unrefined soul pursuing a distinctive artistic furrow. For the rest of us, imagine badly-tuned guitars and a powerful aversion to most kinds of melody. 'We’ve had the worst week of our lives,' he drawls on Pizza Club. Ah, we nod, we know how that sounds now. My Guy manages to attain a level of propulsion akin to early Brilliant Corners but irritates more than it charms. Really Wonderful powerfully isn’t. And so it goes...

This is the kind of album that reminds you of that old Kit Kat advert in which a group of wannabe pop stars are told, ‘you can’t sing, you can’t play – you’ll go a long way’. Except instead of wanting to tell Passion Pusher he’ll go a long way, you want to say, instead of recording any more songs please eat a Kit Kat. Every time you want to record a song, eat a Kit Kat. In fact, eat nothing else but Kit Kats until you’ve cured yourself of ever wanting to share any of your music again.

Listen to: Sauchiehall Street