(All Album Reviews by Boceephus)
A terrific debut, Push and Profit sets the stage for the excellent Unfolded Like Staircase album. Not as dark as Unfolded and it's theories on the after-life, Push and Profit is a collection of tales about the here and now.
"Diminished" is a good title about the insignificance one feels in this massive universe. A nice lilting piano line with violin fills. My only pet peeve is singers who say, "I yam," instead of "I am." That lazy tongue wears on my nerves, but Parmenter's voice is one I enjoy overall.
"The Reasoning Wall" comes very close to stealing the main riff from Tull's Thick as a Brick, with only a slight variation on that theme. The song on the whole is somewhat reminiscent of "A Venture" from Yes in its flow. The drumming carries a strong Bruford feel and I could still register Jon Anderson in the vocal delivery.
"Carmilla" appears to be a song about a girl's suicide in her bathtub, the reaper whispering in her ear as she fades. There are some strong instrumental lines; mellotron washes that swirl around your head and enough guitar breaks to keep things chugging along. Bassist Matthew Kennedy plays some solid deep end.
"The Nursery Year" is a chilling story of a child molester, discovered and promising revenge against his accusers. A detective friend told me about closing in to arrest a child molester and noticing he smelled sweet, like fresh baked sugar cookies. Parmenter displays that sickly sweet character in the most disturbing manner. The melody is very warm, a lullaby, which makes the effect even more disturbing.
Discipline shows they can do 70's rock and roll with "Faces of the Pretty". This tune could have come from any number of bands, from Bowie's Ziggy era to Queen's "Sweet Lady". It's a fun tune that makes your foot get heavy while cruisin' down the boulevard.
"Systems" gives me a Steely Dan vibe on the intro. Parmenter's vocal melody is soothing and catchy. Lyrical images flash through this cinematic tune. This may be my favorite track on the CD.
The instrumental, "Blueprint", starts with a chase scene momentum, but veers into a slow burn with a powerful guitar solo, soaring and Gilmouresque.
The final tune, "America", again has that Yes vibe to it. This is a commentary on commercialism, the loss of a person's meaningful position in society, hopelessness and abandonment.
Push and Profit is a fitting addition to any prog collection and a fine debut. After Unfolded and Astray, I would place Matthew Parmenter high in the list of those artists keeping progressive rock fresh and alive along with Echolyn, Lands End and IZZ.