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.