For Whom The Bell Tolls: Pushmeunder

Hemingway: may or may not have been a robot.

So. Bands break up. It sucks, but that’s the way of things. For most of them, the reason is pure and simple; on some level, they suck. Whether it’s only a little, or harder than a $20 hooker, it doesn’t matter; the world doesn’t lose a whole bunch. The members go on with their lives, and probably go on to make a greater impact in other areas of society. Like serving me burgers.

Then there are bands that are forced into submission for other reasons: money, conflict – both personal and artistic – or sometimes the fanbase only comes after they’re long gone.

This is a chronicle of those bands. Most you will not have heard of, for the very reason that they’re not even around to promote themselves any more. But trust me, they are bands that you really really should have heard of.

Welcome to November! It’s about that time of year when the high-street shops start putting up their decorations, so in that spirit: jingle bells – it’s Pushmeunder!

Disclaimer: there’s usually a picture here. These guys were so underground I don’t even have a picture of them…

Further disclaimer: I’ve been sitting on this particular post for an age; awaiting information, pictures, whatever I could get my hands on. This was, in fact, the second post I ever did. I think I now have all the information I’m going to get, so here you go.

One of my own town’s home-grown talents, Pushmeunder were once again one of the bands I never even caught live – I don’t think I even liked heavy music when their demise came about. I regret this even more, because those who introduced me to them were right in the middle of the same scene at the same time, and they assure me they were fucking incredible.

This was back when the hardcore/post-rock dichotomy thing was still fresh and groundbreaking. I still love that style, but it’s hard to pull off. Following in the footsteps of bands like Envy and City of Caterpillar, PMU brought their own British tinge to the genre.

01. Swords at Sunset
02. The Fall of the Insect Empire
03. An Ambulance Full of Blood in Babylon
04. Your Body Will Betray You
05. It’s Hell On Earth But We’re Safe In Our Black Hole

It’s a popular misconception that it’s always raining in the UK. I realise the irony of this statement, given that it’s raining as I write this, and indeed has been all week – in shitting August – but on those dark nights when it’s utterly pissing it down outside, rain hammering against your window like your dad that time he got drunk and forgot his keys, Pushmeunder are the motherfucking bomb.

Let me get one thing straight too: I ain’t talkin’ about no whiney-ass ‘sit in your parents’ conservatory in a drizzle and write a poem in a moleskine notebook‘ kinda bullshit. I mean your full on, apocalyptic gale-force winds, branches flying everywhere, sideways downpour-kinda stormy weather, because this is music to end the world to; and to make up for the absence of an awesome picture (like you care), here’s the entire EP in Youtube form, because you need to hear what I’m talking about. Go on, open another tab and let these play while you do something else for 20 minutes; read another article, or visit our bros at TNOTB for some hipster-related hi-jinks. I’ll be here when you get back.

Well then. Yeah. How sick is the intro to Swords at Sunset? How awesome is the opening drop in It’s Hell On Earth But We’re Safe In Our Black Hole? The stormy samples in Your Body Will Betray You go a long way to setting the apocalyptic feeling I mentioned above. It’s just fucking heroic.

Not sure why they broke up, especially with all the critical acclaim they were getting at the time, but what I do know is that the former members have been busy since. Vocalist Mitch Clulow went on to found Deacon Birch, who I featured a while back. Drummer Joe Fletcher joined him a while later, and also has his finger in many, many pies, including straight-up legit, ‘touring Europe and everything’ doom band Esoteric (one of this week’s ‘Best of British’). Guitarist Dylan Carey and bassist Rich Nicholls are now in Mother Dirt, who I also mentioned rather more recently – so there’s a lot of good stuff to check out there.

– CG

If you have any suggestions for this column, please send them my way to chris(at)heavyblogisheavy(dot)com or leave a message in the comments section!
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