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Rush - Rush CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

2.94 | 997 ratings

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3 stars In the beginning, before Neil Peart joined the band (the original drummer was one John Rutsey, who never really tries to make himself sound like a "drum god" on this album but at least sounds good enough), Rush was basically just another hard rock power trio, with one distinguishing feature; they could play the absolute living hell out of their instruments (well, they also had a singer who sounded like Robert Plant with his nuts in a vice, but we'll ignore that; Geddy's voice has never bothered me). They wore their influences on their sleeve, and none of the songs betray much in the way of stylistic originality (other than playing their instruments with greater ferocity than others did), so it's hard to rate this album as one of the band's best. Still, it's an interesting curiousity, and there are some parts here that rate with the best material the band did during the 70's.

The best tracks are the ones that bookend the album. "Finding My Way," if nothing else, displays an incredible sense of showmanship as an opener in the incredibly energetic guitar lines, and the way Geddy's screeching vocals play off of the solid main riff is very impressive. "Working Man," which closes the album, has an absolutely gargantuan slower riff in the verses, and an equally great faster riff which the band uses as the foundation of what's arguably the best pure jam the band ever did. I quite regret that Alex and Geddy didn't engage in these kinds of battles more often, honestly. This is one of the few Rush songs that I actively look forward to hearing on the radio; few things compare to the thrill of pumping the bass up to its highest level on my car stereo and blasting out my eardrums with that jam. And the extended ending, well, I like it just fine. After all, if Jethro Tull could have awesome extended codas, why couldn't Rush?

A third moderate highlight is "What You're Doing," with a riff closely modeled off of that to "Heartbreaker" and a great heavy guitar sound, as well as an amusing Geddy vocal delivery. Unfortunately, the album doesn't have any other tracks that I find very good, and some actively annoy me. "Need Some Love" and "In the Mood" are short and novel for Rush, but they're kinda dumb and average to my ears ("In the Mood" at least has some goofy joviality, though). "Before and After" has a fairly pretty acoustic introduction, with a nice build into the electric parts, but eventually it's overcome by a fairly pedestrian rocker. "Take a Friend" has a moderately catchy chorus, but its opening and closing, as intricate and tricky as it might be, just seems pointlessly messy to me (an ill harbinger of Rush to come). And finally, "Here Again" is about as close to a clone of "Since I've Been Loving You" as could exist without actually copying the melody, and it really betrays Rush's status as a second class hard rock band.

Still, this is reasonable for a debut album. It's extremely unpolished, but it betrays a good amount of talent on the part of the band members. There's no concept or real ambition, but that's where part of the enjoyment comes from.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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