Racking up their sixth full length studio album you pretty much expect a band like Bush to kick out a solid offering every time. Recorded at Dave Ghrol‘s Studio 606 and released on Zuma Rock Records, and given the quality of the bands previous work, the promise of this album is almost set in stone.
As expected the grunge fest opens strongly with Just Like My Other Sins, the sludgy hook which seems to echo back from the days of Jimi Hendrix, grips you quickly and the overall groove pulls you right into the song making this a good opener for the album.
The title track Man On The Run slows the pace down some and pulls more synths into the sound adding further to the atmosphere. The vocal sound of Gavin Rossdale remains as distinctive as ever, reminding you that you are listening to Bush, even when you are thrown slightly by the departure to synth layers in the mix.
Moving on through the album you are presented with some uplifting and melodic sounding pieces The Only Way Out and The Gift almost in the vein of bands like The Killers, Snow Patrol or Foo Fighters but not quite, there is still enough angst and grunge in the sound to keep Bush sounding like Bush, and the main hook in The Gift is impressive enough to bury any reservations i had.
More head bopping ensues when the wailing intro to The House of Fire kicks in, pulling you again into another catchy track, nothing spectacular but enough to keep you listening, there is quite a large dynamic range to this track the slowdowns and tempo injections keeping me interested, and more break from the norm sort of vocal and synth effects, which add some variety to the track.
Loneliness Is A killer opens with more synth textures into a standard sort of rock grunge riff which is the hook of the song, some nice guitar melody/wailing solo parts throughout, the chorus is nice and melodic overall, the lyrics are repetitive but Rossdale’s vocals are good enough for it not to matter too much, and the track leads nicely into the next song.
Continuing on with the uplifting musical theme of the album Bodies In Motion is fairly easy listening, but again without anything really distinctive to make it sit out above the rest, just a pleasant par for the course sort of song with some nice chilled guitar work, that maybe drags out a little longer than it should.
The rest of the album is pretty much in a similar vein many melodic breaks and uplifting musical themes, but generally lacking the punch of previous Bush work. i’m sure some Bush fans will be unhappy with this record generally, i personally think its pretty good, but it lacks the raw energy of some of their previous work and i doubt i will be racking it up to play as often as i have albums like Sixteen Stone and The Science of Things. If you’re new to Bush though this is a good entry point, but i would point you to previous albums to get a full picture of this great band.