Bush – “Man On The Run” (Zuma Rock Records)
Short off their reunion and recent touring comes Bush’s sixth studio album. Famed in the 90s for their English indie style that combined heavy on the heart emo riffs and Gavin Rossdale’s melancholic singing, Bush went on to become one of the most successful rock bands in the 1990s, selling over 10 million records in the United States. With the turn of the century, declining sales and lack of label support ultimately led to the band’s break up with Rossdale turning his hand to acting, starring in movies like ‘Constantine’ where he superbly played arch demon Balthazar. In 2010 despite founding members Nigel Pulsford and Dave Parsons both declining to rejoin the band, Rossdale nevertheless went ahead with a new line-up which seems to have regained their lost ground in many respects. With an introspective title, “Man On The Run” lives up to its name with the album sessions being split between 2 studios – Studio 606 in Los Angeles and NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood – along with 2 producers – Nick Raskulinecz and Jay Baumgardner – both with strong alt rock and metal backgrounds. Despite this the album is a lightweight version of the Bush I revered in the 90s. The signature sound is still there, but its been lightened up more in favor of a clean rock sound rather than the heavy alt rock style that so typified the band’s sound back then. Likewise, the melancholy is sorta there, but it’s like Rossdale doesn’t dwell on it as much as he did before, preferring to move on from his moroseness to take on the sun drenched rock trip full on. His vocals, however, remain true in every aspect and define Bush on songs like ‘Loneliness Is A Killer’, ‘Broken In Paradise’ and ‘Speeding Through The Bright Light And Losing’, all of which come closest to what I remember of their classic sound. Overall, there’s a definite live feel and energy resonating through “Man On The Run”, much of which will definitely get the crowds going on Bush’s next tour, although I don’t expect to see many of them dressed in black with lank hair looking depressed and shoe gazing in some corner.