August 03, 2011

Don't Overlook The Red Button's Latest Album

With their debut, She’s About To Cross My Mind, The Red Button produced what would’ve been one of the hippest records of the British Invasion—had it not been composed nearly 50 years afterward by two guys from California.

Nearly four years on now, the singing/songwriting duo of Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg has returned with The Red Button’s sophomore LP, As Far As Yesterday Goes (Grimble Records). Where its predecessor for the most part evoked a Merseybeat vibe, this effort reflects far broader influences, its melodic-pop foundation at times incorporating the quirky psychedelia of mid-to-late-‘60s Donovan and Harry Nilsson ("Picture," "Genevieve") along with some of the ornate textures of Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys ("On A Summer Day") and the finessed riffage of early-'70s George Harrison ("Easier").

On some level maybe it’s tempting to question, if the Red Button’s retro sound so closely recalls that of any number of classic artists, why not then just stick with those? Swirsky and Ruekberg are no doubt aware of their influences and, in turn, of the comparisons they draw. But these guys are serious, and seriously talented musicians. Besides, instantly memorable melodies have never been easy for songwriters to come by; and the knack the Red Button display in having crafted the ones that grace As Far As Yesterday Goes cannot be underestimated and shouldn’t be overlooked. Highly recommended.

First published as Music Review: The Red Button - As Far As Yesterday Goes on Blogcritics.

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