This is a review of "Sleeping In The Ditch" recorded by Pushbike Army. The review was written by Mark Gill in 2007.
Lets face it, music can transcend plenty of boundaries, but I for one didn’t think that time and space was one of them. From the opening riff of ‘Sleeping in the Ditch’ I feel like I’m back in Thatcher’s Britain, listening to Weller, Strummer et al lament the state of Britain.
Ok, so I’m being melodramatic, but this is the era that informs Pushbike Army’s sound and attitude around their music. Add to this the fact that they’ve all come together from the none too glamorous surroundings of Wigan, Middlesborough, and Barrow-in-Furness, and you can imagine that there is a nice northern, grittier aspect to the band’s music, much as I hate to stereotype. Indeed, the frantically strummed acoustic-guitar led ‘Boy From The Terraced Houses,’ has its main lyrical content in escaping small town routine. This is an excellent, desperate ballad of someone determined to make the most of themselves. During the chorus the guitar even sounds rather Cure-esque, and grabs at your heart with the rather simple, but effective tagline: “Whoa, woah woah, the boy from the terraced houses told you so.”
The more ‘upbeat’ ‘Sleeping in the Ditch,’ is the song most likely to be tearing up the local indie discotheque though, with its jumpy guitar riff, that almost reminds you of Doves’ ‘Black and White Town’ but slightly more gruffer. It’s catchy and grabs you straight away. Reminiscing of good times provides the theme of this song, and whilst the music is upbeat and jumpy, there remains an edge of melancholy, which culminates in an outro with an understated angsty lead guitar riff in the background.
Pushbike Army’s sound couldn’t have come from anywhere else but England. This is an excellent debut demo for a band just over a year old, who really do seem to be able to build upon the strong songwriting skills shown here. They may describe themselves as punk, which undoubtedly makes up a large part of their music, but Pushbike have added much more into the mix, not limiting themselves to electric guitars and three chord songs. Definitely one to watch.