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RUSH

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

2.88 | 782 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Humble beginnings from the progressive monsters.

Before Moving Pictures, before Permanent Waves, before A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres and even before Caress of Steel, Rush was a hard rock band trying to break into the music scene. Often compared to Led Zeppelin in terms of sound and rockiness it's been rumored that the first time many heard Working man on the radio they called the station wondering when the next Zep album would be out. The comparisons aren't without reason, however, as this outing is actually very much like those Zeppelin boys. Geddy shrieks and Alex whips out heavy riffs while Rutsey bangs on the drums and the band makes some good hard rock. Progressive? No, not yet. It's experimented with and generally danced around, but there's nothing truly progressive here.

The album opens up with the usual Geddy scream of ''Yeah! Ho yeah!'' as Finding My Way starts quite fast. This is a good hard rock song that's a pretty good indicator of what's to come on the next album, but for now it's just a good rocker. Need Some Love is a fairly basic song with a pretty cool little drum thing going at the chorus, thankfully it's short and we're quickly onto the next song. Take A Friend is another very basic hard rocker. Good song, but nothing to be overly excited about and certainly not progressive. What You're Doing is a stab at some past record executives as is Queen's Death On Two Legs. Regardless, it's another rock song that is good at best.

So we have a lot of rock moments here. Anything progressive or poor? Let's dig deeper...

Poor moments? Well no, but there is a song that likely won't appeal to prog heads. In The Mood is a very radio friendly song that actually gets a lot of airtime in Canada. Is it a good progressive single like Tom Sawyer? Certainly not. It's likely the most basic song on the album, ''hey baby it's a quarter to 8, I fell I'm in the mood.'' Definitely not the high-brow stuff that we Rush fans are by now used to. This can likely be attributed to the lack of Mr. Lyrics, Neil Peart, but he won't be around until the next album.

Onto the finer moments of the album. While there may not be any true progressive moments on this album (indeed, not until By-Tor and the Snow Dog), there are some starts. Here Again and Before And After are a pair of songs that show the band taking a minute to slow down, write some longer compositions and just experiment. They still sound like some of the slower Zep stuff, but they're getting there. Is is the stuff that would likely push them into progressive grounds later on. It's not until the end, however, where the beacon of hope really shines. Working Man is what could be considered proto-heavy prog. A heavy song with hints of progressive-ness and with some great, not too self indulgent soloing right in there. This really was the start of the band, and it's kind of the precursor for the sound that they would eventually create on their second, third and even fourth albums.

Really, it's a shame that Peart couldn't be around right from the start, but that's okay, since not too long after this album he'll show up for an audition on a bike with his drums in garbage bags and blow away his competitors. Besides, Rutsey does a fantastic job for what they were trying to accomplish on this effort and he's quite often a very overlooked force in the early days of the band. So, in the end this album gets a 2. Rush fans will certainly enjoy this, as will Zeppelin-ers. Prog fans should skip this one and look more for the band's classic era albums. Fun stuff none the less and an interesting start to one of Canada's greatest bands.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |

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