Bush – The Art Of Survival (Album Review)

Bush – The Art Of Survival (Album Review)

Looking back, UK Rock band Bush were one of most commercially successful bands of the ’90s. Releasing their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, four years after Alice in Chains’ Facelift and three years after Nirvana’s Nevermind as well as Pearl Jam’s Ten, some may say Bush were one of the turning points in the post-Grunge era. Debatable, whatever it might be, Bush were unique in their sound, style, and approach. With songs like “Machinehead,” “Glycerine,” and later on, “Swallowed,” they had an edge that set them apart from the pack.

Then when their Golden State album hit in 2001, Bush took a break a year later. Seeming to be the end, Lead Vocalist Gavin Rossdale released Distort Yourself with Institute in 2005 and his solo album WANDERlust in 2008. Both quite good, it was not until 2010 until Bush would return… but looking completely different. Led by Rossdale, the band donned a completely different lineup; currently in 2022 consisting of Rossdale, Chris Traynor (lead guitar), Corey Britz (bass), and Nik Hughes (drums). A formation that has been established for twelve long years now, together, they have put out more albums than the original Bush lineup. Five full-length albums together in total, the latest is 2022’s The Art of Survival.

Their ninth full-length studio album, and coming two years after The Kingdom, The Art of Survival arrived on October 7th through BMG. Complete with new twelve engaging songs, in truth, it is perhaps one of the strongest efforts from Rossdale and Bush since the band’s resurrection. It all begins with a heavy bass line on “Heavy Is The Ocean.” Coming with a bit of a crashing heaviness, other than that, it is a gentle, smooth song to slowly prepare you for what is yet to come. That in mind, “Slow Me” brings you slowly into the open water of the album while “More Than Machines” is clearly a political track that will dig deep underneath your skin and hopefully stimulate you to think freely.

On the other side, “May Your Love Be Pure” is a tragic piece about climate change, hypocrisy, and the overall decline of humanity. With strong arrangements it pulls your attention to every word until the song has ended, and that is a good thing. This is while “Shark Bite” sounds like an a-typical Bush cut that is a catchy song and “Human Sand” is a raw Rock track that has quite a deep meaning… so listen closely.

From here the album stays very interesting with songs like the tragically dramatic “Kiss Me I’m Dead,” crunchy guitars and striking lyrics of “Identity,” and heart-melting melodies of “Creatures of the Fire.” Rounding it all out “Judas Is A Riot” brings back the heaviness, “Gunfight” continues with loudness, aggressive tones, and “1000 Years” brings a smooth closing to an album that sure covers a lot of ground.

With The Art of Survival Bush has created an album that is highly political and reflective of the world today. With that, they wrap it all up in catchy arrangements. The best part is each song tells a story about current events and topics that will get you thinking… or least one can hope. Rossdale’s strong vocals and the overall tight songwriting make it easy to stay focused and get your mind wandering into the right direction. Highly addictive and one of the biggest surprises of 2022, Cryptic Rock gives The Art of Survival 5 out of 5 stars.

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Nina Mende
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