Top positive review
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Beyond the Nirvana comparisons, Bush actually rock.
on 12 May 2012
Let's get it out of the way first; without Nirvana, Bush wouldn't have existed. There. I said it. Now you can enjoy this album for all it should be. See, those comparisons to Kurt Cobain & co absolutely dogged Bush throughout the early part of their career and the truth is this band actually released some top rock material in their own right. This, their debut album, is an absolutely great post grunge rock LP.
Think "In Utero", then replace Kurt Cobain's loathing for fame with Gavin Rossdale's semi wanting fame but semi not wanting to deal with everything he knows will (and did) come with it, and you'll be on the right track.
Standout tracks on this lp include Everything Zen (with a cracking verse and chorus), the sublime Comedown (and acoustic version is even better) as well as the awe-inspiring Glycerine, which the band really turned into a centerpiece during live shows. Glycerine is among the best songs of the nineties and Bush at their best.
Then we get two unexpected highlights. Machinehead, which features arguably the catchiest chorus this side of Nevermind, and the incredible Little Things. Not incredible for it's riffs (Everything Zen is undoubtedly superior here) but rather incredible for it's lyrics. That's right, pretty boy Gaving Rossdale can actually write fantastic lyrics. In the era of self-contradicting, commercial hating grune, Rossdale kicked into a high gear on this track with some superbly understated lyrics:
"I'd die in your arms/If you were dead too"
"Here comes a lie/We will always be true"
"The cupboard is empty, we really need food/But summer is winter and you always knew"
Bush went on to deliver Razorblade Suitcase in 1996, an album which took huge influence from Nirvana's "In Utero" lp and again features some quality tracks bogged down by the inevitable Nirvana comparisons it drew. Before experimenting with their own sound on the decent The Science of Things in 1998 and delivering the album of their careers on 2001's Golden State (check that out). The band returned suprisingly in 2010 with The Sea Of Memories, another great album.
Sixteen Stone is the sound of a very underrated rock band finding their feet and features some of the best rock of the nineties, period.