Album Review: Bush - 'The Sea Of Memories'

14 December 2011 | 12:17 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

More of the same, ten years later.

More Bush More Bush

Fear not people, bands never break up. They will always be back, it may take ten years, but they will be back.

In their heyday, Bush sold more than 16 million albums in the U.S. and Canada alone. They also compiled a string of 14 consecutive Top 40 hit singles on the Billboard Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts, including ten that hit the Top 5, four of these became No. 1 hits. On October 18 2011, Bush made US rock radio history by becoming the first band ever to hit No. 1 at Alternative Radio with a self-released single, The Sound Of Winter, which appears on their new album ‘The Sea Of Memories.’

At the time of writing this review Bush are in the middle of a sold out international headlining tour, so clearly, people still want Bush.

Whilst the figures mentioned above might not be as accurate a representation of the band’s popularity here in Australia, it cannot be argued that they played an important part in the 90’s rock revolution, and that ‘Sixteen Stone’ was a great record, worthy of a nod or two.

The re-formed rock act stereotype that Bush are currently fitting quite well would not be accurate if the band blew our minds with some intense new take on rock music that will save us all, so they haven’t. Instead they have made a record which has enough throwbacks to their old sound to keep those who remember them happy but essentially serves as Triple M’s play list for the next couple of months.

Opening track The Mirror Of The Signs shows us that front man Gavin Rossdale still has what it takes to front a rock band, his voice seem relatively unscathed by the years that have passed and he can still crank out the catchy melodies. None as catchy as the Glycerine days however, with the new single The Sound Of Winter, which for some reason is blowing up the charts, mirroring the sound of later Bush works, such as their last record 2001’s ‘Golden State.’

A lot of the songs start off sounding like something new but then fall back into standard rock territory in their chorus lines. Tracks like the quirky She’s A Stallion or the deep toned The Afterlife, fall into this trap. Using producer Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica) was probably a mistake, granted the album sounds great, but this is the exact kind of producer that Bush should have steered clear of if they wanted to come back with any kind of relevance.

One of the stand out moments is the bass driven Stand Up, further proof that Rossdale’s vocal and melody lines are the key feature of the group. The record ends with a soft ballad that is made interesting by its subtle drum patterns, Be Still My Love, a dynamic song that shows us Bush still have some songs in them worth hearing.

The world certainly didn’t need a Bush reunion but on the other hand, probably won’t mind that it has happened either. ‘The Sea Of Memories’ is a record for all Bush fans to reminisce to but certainly won’t head anywhere near the direction of earning the group new fans or raising them back to the level of fame that they once enjoyed.

1.  The Mirror of the Signs

2.  The Sound of Winter

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3.  All My Life

4.  The Afterlife

5.  All Night Doctors

6.  Baby Come Home

7.  Red Light

8.  She's a Stallion

9.  I Believe in You

10.  Stand Up

11.  The Heart of the Matter

12.  Be Still My Love