Gruntruck – Push (Re-issue)

Push Album Cover Art

Gruntruck – Push (Re-issue)
Cherry Red Records
Release Date: 08/07/22
Running time: 53:32
Review by Laura Barnes

Even though I was born in 2000, I really love the 90s. 

You know how some people get all weird about the 80s? They religiously collect Talking Heads vinyls and insist that Donnie Darko is the greatest movie ever made? I’m like that with the 90s. I think that nu-metal rules, CDs are an excellent and practical way to listen to music, and Scream 2 is the greatest movie ever made. So, when the opportunity to revisit 1990s Seattle came a-knockin, who was I to say no?

Gruntruck exist on the heavier side of grunge, and are certainly more Alice In Chains than Nirvana. Their version of grunge favours fury over apathy and speed over atmosphere; their catchy hooks have fangs. That said, the late Ben McMillan remains a quintessential grunge frontman, and his gruff vocals act as a sonic time capsule that catapults you right back to 1990s Seattle. “Push” was Gruntrucks second album, and saw them shift slightly away from their psychedelic influences in lieu of a more compact and thrashier sound. The result was an album that could have (and by all means should have) tattooed Gruntruck into the cultural consciousness and transformed them into a household name. Instead, legal disputes and a strained relationship with their record label meant that “Push” didn’t quite get the attention it deserved. Still, dedicated music fans soon discovered “Push”, and granted the album a most honourable status: a cult classic. And it’s easy to see why: with “Push” Gruntruck have delivered an album that is exemplary of its genre, whilst simultaneously sounding fresh and unique. ‘Tribe’ kicks off the album with a goose-bump inducing riff that worms its way into your head; ‘Machine Action’ is a twisting python of a song that slithers and turns around you, capable of suffocating you at any second; ‘Above Me’ is a thoughtful and heavy track that explores the allure of codependency. On a personal level, my favourite track on the album is ‘Slow Scorch’. As a woman who’s early music education was received courtesy of the Kerrang! music channel, I am horrified that this track never once graced my TV screen. It has everything that makes rock rock, from the gloomiest bass guitar to anti-establishment fury. 

Of course, if you are already a grunge aficionado, then you already know all this. So what does this reissue have to offer to those already familiar with “Push”? Alongside the original album, this reissue includes 3 bonus tracks – ‘Crucifunkin’’ and ‘Flesh Fever’ from Gruntrucks debut album “Inside Yours”, and a Demo version of ‘Machine Action’. Whilst ‘Crucifunkin’ and ‘Flesh Fever’ are welcome inclusions, the Demo track feels like a anticlimatic conclusion to the album, especially since we already heard a more ‘full’ and satisfying version of the song earlier. The physical copy of this reissue also provides an album booklet that revisits the story of Gruntruck, from their casual formation out of proto-grunge band Skin Yard and thrash band The Accüsed, to gaining Beavis and Butthead’s much sought approval, to the sombre live show that signalled the end. The booklet also features old photographs and setlists from Gruntruck’s glory days, providing an interesting glimpse into the Seattle scene. Overall, this reissue has something to offer to both potential Gruntruck fans and die-hard rock fans alike. 

01. Tribe 
02. Machine Action
03. Racked
04. Crazy Love
05. Above Me
06. Gotta Believe
07. Break
08. Slow Scorch
09. Follow
10. Body Farm
11. Lose
12. Push
13. Crucifunkin’ 
14. Flesh Fever
15. Machine Action

Ben McMillan – Vocals, Guitar
Tom Niemeyer – Guitar
Tim Paul – Bass
Norman Scott – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Laura Barnes and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.