|Melody Maker review of Push The Button by Money Mark (which features Russell Simins on Hand In Your Head).|
Push The Button
You’ve got to keep your eyes on the quiet ones. The Beastie Boys hired a carpenter to fix a gate at their LA pad and got a half-Japanese, half-Mexican Mark Ramos Nishita: 30-something dad, desert-dweller and dark horse who turned out to be an analogue-loving keyboard repairman. Who turned into a Beasties sidekick who had more than a tad to do with their metamorphosis from mouthy frat-rappers into Grand Royals (with cheese) a Mo’Wax solo artist with a neat line in scratchy bedroom instrumental inventiveness on his debut long-player, “Mark’s Keyboard Repair”. Who then turned up this time with a few things extra, namely a delicious singing voice…and the entire Brill Building tune archive under his arm.
So now you know who to thank for our new favourite album. Of course, it was never in question that “Push The Button” would be good, but there’s nobody who would have put money on ending up with this: a definitive demonstration disc of joyous melody. And if you’re looking for peers, don’t stop at Beck’s “Odelay”, try Eels’ “Beautiful Freak”, World Party’s “Goodbye Jumbo”, Elvis Costello’s “Get Happy” and Todd Rundgren’s “Something/Anything”…all records that swallow pop whole and glow from the belly button out.
And yes, of course there are enough lo-fi, sampladelic funky sticks at: the title track’s mischievous loose-groove mutations, the sassy rubber bleeps of “Monkey Dot”, a skittering Dimitri-meets-Stereolab “Bossa Nova”, the slippery tablas-and-Eno exotica of “Dha Teen Ta” and the tipsy harmonica and piano of “Harmonics Of Life” that waltzes like US TV theme-writer Mike Post rewriting “Goodnight Ladies”. But it’s everything else – anything with Mark’s warm, effortless singing voice, basically – that really hits the spot. From the catchy “Too Like You” to the mouth-watering country drawl of “Rock In The Rain”; from the deep-fried “Maybe I’m Dead” marching about to the clatter of spoons on saucepans to the gorgeous Booker-T-meets-Lennon soul of “Hand In Your Head”, this is pure pop for anytime people.
And a final word to the wise guys: I’m afraid “Push The Button” is about to be snatched up and adored by all kinds, from the hippest hipster to the next guy fixing the front gate.
Funny thing about classic pop albums: no door policy, see.
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