There’s just something about singer/songwriter Chris Trapper and his band the
Push Stars that is instantly recognizable and comforting. With the band’s fourth
studio release, Paint the Town, Trapper and company continue to churn out
infectious, melodic ear candy that is as distinctly American as baseball on a
warm summer night. To say that the Push Stars are maturing wouldn’t be fair, as
there is still an “alternative” vibe about them. Still, they seem to be aging
like a fine wine.
“Claire” is a radio ready pop song with classic flavors -- in fact, if you close
your eyes, Trapper and his low, smoky voice are dead ringers for Eddie Money on
this one. “Outside of a Dream” is moody and a bit dark, with traces of optimism
only Trapper can employ in a song like this. There are folky moments too, like
“In the Galaxy” and “Keg on My Coffin” that are perfect for campfires, but for
the most part Paint the Town rocks -- songs with fleshed-out production
like “Lucky Sevens” and the title track could easily find a home on modern rock
radio. And piano-laced “Dream Came Down” likens Trapper to a modern day Jackson
Browne. Does it get any more American than that?
I won’t get too deep into why bands like this never get the level of recognition
they deserve. So let’s just say that while the industry champions a lot of crap,
there are bands like the Push Stars that stick around by doing what they do best
-- write great songs. Paint the Town is a record that will please an
adoring fan base, and hopefully make a few more friends along the way.