As a hardcore Beatles fan and Lennon-lover myself, I am usually skeptical of bands that obviously emulate the holy quadrumvirate. However, listening to The Red Button’s sophomore album As Far As Yesterday Goes was like taking in a breath of fresh air. Singing and songwriting duo Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg proudly exhibit their expertise with the three-minute pop song tradition on their newest release. With it’s upbeat, Lennon-esque vocals and bubblegum-pop melodies, The Red Button reinvents that British Invasion-style of sound in a way that preserves the original appeal of the sweet 60s music without showing its age.
Each track contains traces of other influential pop artists as well, including some as old as Elvis Costello and some as recent as Oasis. The title track “As Far As Yesterday Goes” lays down a catchy bass line and deep vocals reminiscent of the Zombies’ “She’s Not There,” and I can’t tell you how much that makes me want to put on my Mad Men getup and dance. I am also a big fan of the song “Sandreen,” and the way the vocals almost seem to mimic the soft cooing of Elliot Smith.
Although the tempo is mostly fast and the melodies sound rather cheerful, the lyrics are not nearly as positive, and I believe that’s a real defining quality of The Red Button. I’d advise any listener to pair this album with a cold glass of lemonade and a cracked windown on a breezy day.
Reviewed by Chelsea Deptula
Originally published on Sept 21, 2011