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Man On The Run – Bush Review

Man On The Run – Bush Review

bush-man-on-the-runReleased: October 2014

Nick Raskulinecz has worked with Mastodon, Deftones, Alice in Chains and Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters, and now finds himself in the role of producer with multi-platinum alt-rockers Bush as they take on studio album number six. A mesh of crunching guitars, epic drums and endless affecting melodies and vocal texture, Man on the Run is a solid rock album. It’s the soundtrack to a band ageing gracefully, and proves the Grammy-winning producer and maturing rock stars to be a match that continues to create pleasing results.

It’s been twenty years since Bush – a hugely successful band in the States but less so here in their homeland of the UK – released their debut, Sixteen Stone. The face of rock music has changed in that time, and so has the band. Just as grunge isn’t as relevant as it once was, the heroes of its day, barring one obvious figure, have all followed varied careers in their own right, refusing to be constrained by that one sound. From Dave Grohl’s transformation into a legendary frontman to the illustrious solo careers of Mark Lanegan and Chris Cornell, grunge has aged damn well, far better than its ‘90s counterpart Britpop and its equally socially frustrated predecessor punk rock.

Bush prove to be no exception here, and from the opening track Just Like My Other Sins it’s clear that the band has managed to balance the energy of youth with the wisdom of age finely. The opener embodies the tone of the whole album, presenting riffs, power chords and enthralling drum beats, but never at the expense of emotional intensity and melodic artistry. Throughout the album the instrumentation is on point, but whilst some tracks admittedly fail to say anything new with their guitars, almost every number comes up trumps in terms of lead singer Gavin Rossdale’s affecting vocal performances. His is a voice with power, gravitas and, most importantly, sophistication. It absolutely follows the formula of his aforementioned peers, the edgy growl of Lanegan and the harmonic awareness of Grohl both present and used effectively in equal measure.

Unusual as such a phenomenon is, when one listens to Man on the Run it becomes blindingly obvious that this British act is more suited to an American audience, with Rossdale’s voice clearly influenced by those across the pond; the heavy guitars and classic rock drums sound like a mash-up of Springsteen, Queens of the Stone Age and Pearl Jam. Bodies in Motion and This House is on Fire certainly prove that the influence of bands like Bush on younger acts has been reciprocated, the increased pace of the instruments borrowing from modern American pop-rock acts but injecting a maturity that can only be procured by a group of seasoned veterans.

Man on the Run isn’t so much the sound of a band completely changing its direction, rather one that is following the same route, but has swapped a souped-up sports car for something with a little more class. It has all the energy and aggression of a young rock band, but Rossdale’s wise words and gruff vocals provide the insight and control needed for a band to truly age with dignity and grace. For twenty years Bush have stuck to what they know, developed it, fine-tuned it, and on this LP they continue against the odds to sound as relevant as ever.


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