ALBUM REVIEW: Bush – The Art of Survival


Since relaunching Bush in 2010, the Gavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor partnership (Traynor taking on the right-hand role in the band once Rossdale resumed performing under the Bush banner in the stead of the retired Nigel Pulsford) have, in an understated way, added to the band’s legacy, producing five albums, and a slew of consistently decent tunes.

‘Heavy Is The Ocean’ sets a sombre and strong tone for The Art of Survival (BMG) their latest release, a brooding, low-slung, and heavy lava-like opening ooze not a million miles from the more recent furrows Gojira have poured their magma down, led by Corey Britz’ ominous bass providing a platform for Rossdale and his knack of laying straightforward and distinctive vocal hooks over memorable, simple guitar riffs and licks. Rossdale excels in this space, familiar affectations in phrasing and vocal patterns making the twelve songs feel like they’ve been part of the collection, and in your conscience, for longer than they have. This is a different, darker and more ingrained form of catchy, but it works; each track has a different hook that lands quickly and firmly.


Compensating for some of the underwhelming lyrical moments (to be fair, Rossdale will never be poet laureate, and at least there are no hairdryers, swimming, or otherwise), the more reflective pair of ‘Creatures of the Fire’ and ‘1000 Years’ are amongst the album highlights, the former building into an uplifting tune that invites voices to join in its peaks, while the latter is a reflective pared down sparse closer to the album. Other moments of note include the catchy post-grunge anthem ‘Slow Me’, the Kyussian desert groove of ‘Human Sand’, the heavier stomp of ‘More Than Machines’ that injects a touch more pace and verve, and the weighty chug-turned-big chorus of ‘Kiss Me I’m Dead’; The Art of Survival is imbued with more than its share of quality moments, it has to be said.


There’s something peppier and stronger in the water this time around as The Art of Survival continues the invigoration that The Kingdom started a couple of years ago, serving as the best album of Bush Mark II’s tenure.


Buy the album here:


7 / 10





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