Next up on Audioeclectica.com’s 2020 End Of The Year Lists, the Top 10 Vocalists The stipulation is that, an album/EP had to have been released this year.
Vote for your favorite in the comments section. At the end of the month, I will release the results of the readers poll.
This list is also in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!!!
01) Greg Puciato- Greg Puciato/Killer Be Killed 02) Billy Corgan- The Smashing Pumpkins 03) Lance Black- In Parallel 04) Philip H. Anselmo- En Minor 05) EL-P & Killer Mike- Run The Jewels 06) Kadeem France & Erik Bickerstaffe- Loathe 07) Jacob Bannon- Umbra Vitae 08) Gavin Rossdale- Bush 09) Chelsea Wolfe- Mrs. Piss 10) Anthony Paganelli, Lance Jackman, Jess Gowrie & Lennon Hudson- Horseneck
There are many bands that have tried to go back to their roots while still remaining relevant but, often the end result isn’t quite what it should be or it feels rehashed. That is not the case with the new album The Kingdom by Bush. Their new album is refreshing and a welcome back to what many loved about them in the first place. Let me start off by saying this is a full on rock album and Gavin and company have really delivered. If you’ve been waiting for them to get back to some good riff rock, this is the album for you.
From the time the album starts to till it ends, the consistency and balance of rock is there. Gavin Rossdale promised a “heavy” album and he along with his band have truly delivered on that. The album is chock full of riff heavy songs like “The Kingdom,” “Ghost In The Machine,” “Bullet Holes,” “Blood River,” and “Our Time Will Come.” There are also the more melodic heavy songs like “Flowers On A Grave,” “Send In The Clowns,” “Quicksand,” “Crossroads” and “Falling Away.” One of the more standout tracks is “Undone,” which has some similarities to the more mid tempo songs in the bands catalog but, it feels fresh and current.
The Kingdom is a bit nostalgic but, not in a bad way. It has the best elements of both Sixteen Stone and Razorblade Suitcase along with a bit of an Institute vibe. Also, Gavin working with Tyler Bates (who helped resurrect Marilyn Manson’s career with the great album, The Pale Emperor) has made a real impact and have made Bush relevant again in 2020. Another element that makes this album truly good are the performances by Chris Traynor and Corey Britz. Both of these guys have a very distinct style and it shines through on these songs. Most of the drums on the album were done by Gil Sharone (Current drummer Nik Hughes played on the title track and “Flowers On A Grave” and he did a killer job as well) and his work on this album is pretty damn stellar as well as usual. The songs on this album when played live will be huge. I can’t wait for the day that comes again. The only thing that feels off about this album is how the songs were put in order. Personally, I would have chosen the title track, “The Kingdom” to start the album off with.
If you have given up on Bush, this is the album that will definitely bring you back into the fold. If you are looking for a really solid rock album, this is one that you should really take a listen to.
I thoroughly enjoy making these Ultimate Set Lists. It’s quite fun to think of a dream scenario where you get to pick all the songs (well up to 25) for a live show. One band I’ve been listening to a lot lately is Bush. Mainly I’ve been listening to their new single “Bullet Holes” from the John Wick 3 soundtrack. It’s such a rad song that takes me back to the Sixteen Stone and Razorblade Suitcase days. Currently, Bush is out on tour with Live as both bands are celebrating the 25 year mark of their albums Sixteen Stone and Throwing Copper. I was intrigued to go to the show but, not sure I really want to knowing that the setlist for both bands are rather short and kind of dull. So, I went ahead and made my own Ultimate Set List for what I’d love to hear Bush play live.
Guideline 1: What line up of the band would it be
Guideline 2: Where would you want to see the show
Guideline 3: maximum 25 songs (In order of how the set should go)
Lineup: Gavin Rossdale, Nigel Pulsford, Chris Traynor, Robin Goodridge, Dave Parsons,
Venue: Wiltern Los Angeles
01) Personal Holloway
02) Little Things
03) The Gift
04) Insect Kin
05) The Sound Of Winter
07) The Chemicals Between Us
09) The Heart Of The Matter
10) Cold Contagious
11) Loneliness Is A Killer
12) Bullet Holes
13) Greedy Fly
16) A Tendency To Start Fires
17) Disease Of The Dancing Cats
20) Letting The Cables Sleep
On the unsung masterpiece that is Razorblade Suitcase by Bush, there was one single released that had a video that was absolutely badass. The song and video I’m talking about is “Greedy Fly.” The song was the second single from the album and the accompanying video really inhabited the song. The video was directed by Marcus Nispel, who directed videos for bands like Faith No More and No Doubt. The video has this sort of Seven meets The Crow vibe. In fact the video was shot in one of the same buildings in Downtown Los Angeles as Seven was. The videos dark and eerie cinematography is the perfect mood setter for the song. Plus this song just rocks.
Bush is back and it seems they have brought a “heavier” approach to their new music. Today the Gavin Rossdale fronted band released the song “Bullet Holes.” This track was co-written by Gavin and Tyler Bates (you might recognize him from his work with Marilyn Manson as well as his work on film scores like John Wick and Guardians of the Galaxy). “Bullet Holes” is also featured in the new John Wick film (John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum). This is definitely the sound that many older Bush fans have been waiting for. Bush plans to release their new album titled, The Mind Plays Tricks On You, this fall, and it features 4 songs co-written by Rossdale and Bates. In my personal opinion, after what Tyler Bates was able to do with Marilyn Manson on his The Pale Emperor album, I’m quite intrigued by what he can do with Gavin and Bush.
After the success of Sixteen Stone and Razorblade Suitcase, Bush started to mess around with their style. In late 1997, they released a remix album called Deconstructed. While it was a departure and it angered many fans, there were a few tracks on it that were pretty cool. One such was the reworking of “Mouth” which you might recognize from the movie An American Werewolf In Paris. The video for the song featured Julie Delpy who also appeared in the movie.
Bush- Mouth (The Stingray Mix) From Deconstructed:
Oh the 90’s, what a great time for music. Just like our parents had the 60’s and 70’s, we had the 90’s. The music and films at the time were totally representative of the changing culture. There were a few filmmakers like Richard Linklater and Kevin Smith that really dialed in on that. One such film which has now garnered a cult following, is Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. Not only was the movie funny and zeroed in on the culture, the soundtrack that accompanied it was pretty damn good. There was one song on it that I will always remember and that was Bush’s “Bubbles.” This song was released only on the soundtrack for Mallrats, though it now can be found on an expanded edition of the bands second album Razorblade Suitcase (which is quite a great album as well). Anyways, check out this song and enjoy!
Bush- Bubbles (from Mallrats):
It’s really fun to listen to different cover songs and find the one that you really dig. Most of the time the original is the best version but, every now and then, a cover comes along and takes the song in a different direction. One song in particular is Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” Over the years many bands have covered it. One group that actually did a great version of it was the Dixie Chicks. Natalie Mains voice is the perfect compliment to Stevie Nicks. Then in the rock world bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Bush have put out versions. Personally I really like The Smashing Pumpkins version. Billy Corgan brings a vulnerability to the song that was there in the original.
What cover do you like best?
The Smashing Pumpkins- Landslide:
This November will be twenty years since Bush released their very underrated and unsung masterpiece Razorblade Suitcase. I can actually remember getting this album. My mom and dad had bought it for me. I came home from school and in my room was a copy of Razorblade Suitcase along with a note that said do your homework, but listen and enjoy the album. I remember putting the album on and letting it play from start to finish and thinking to myself that this is absolutely great. It was different from Sixteen Stone in a good way. There was so much more to this album in regards of depth and feeling. The album title itself, I thought was a really cool name, meant to Gavin Rossdale as a way to describe emotional baggage. What a crazy yet interesting way to describe it. Also during this time the band kept getting knocked in the press for supposedly being too much like Nirvana. This is something that I’ve never thought was true. Sure they had an album recorded by Steve Albini, and played a similar style of loud guitars and booming drums, but Gavin and Kurt were completely on the opposite sides of things.
The album is one of my favorites of all time. From the beginning growl of Gavin’s dog on “Personal Holloway,” to the dissonance of closing song “Distant Voices” and everything in between, Razorblade Suitcase was the perfect way to follow up Sixteen Stone. Lead single “Swallowed” was impactful and gritty yet full of sweet melody. Other wonderful songs like “Greedy Fly,” “Insect Kin,” “Cold Contagious,” “Bone Driven,” and “History” were absolute stand outs. Other tracks like “A Tendency To Start Fires,” “Synapse,” “Mouth,” and “Straight No Chaser,” offered something for every type of fan of the band. From the heavier tracks to the more delicate.
While Bush isn’t the most original band in the world, they are still part of the legacy of the 90’s that shouldn’t be ignored. Put the Nirvana comparisons aside and just listen and you’ll come away with an album that is deep and vulnerable. The playing and songwriting on this record is exceptional as well. Taking away the the polish of Sixteen Stone, Steve Albini put Bush in their natural element to really get at the true nature of the band. Gavin’s voice really shines on this album too. Razorblade Suitcase is often overlooked by many, but it’s not one that should be. Twenty years later this album still holds up if not better than when it first came out.