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The Rush Pendulum Has Swung Too Far

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Altitude, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I'm 42 now. I got into Rush right about P/G, and have loved them since.

    Like most of us, I was happy when Presto came out. I thought the edgier sound was awesome.

    I don't like Clockwork Angels, though. I've tried. Every so often I put it back in the player, just in case there was something else on my mind the last time I listened.

    I don't like it. In my opinion, they have again moved too far away from their own DNA. The songs on that album and the production approach in particular is too sludgy.

    In a certain way, it's like Hold Your Fire, but at the other side of the pendulum swing. Both are still Rush, but each has too much of a certain ingredient at the expense of other ingredients that make up the total Rush sound. To my ears.

    I was OK with Snakes & Arrows, and now that I've heard the remixed Vapor Trails I think it's one of the better Rush albums overall. So I'm generally OK with the current musical direction but I think Clockwork took it a step too far.

    I miss a little synthesizer in my Rush, and I'd like to hear a little more space in the music than what they are doing now.

    Is that wrong?
  2. ffutterman

    ffutterman Talentless Bass Enthusiast

    May 7, 2010
    I've seen their Clockwork Angels live show twice now, and I've got to say I really like it live a lot better than studio. Both times I saw the show, they basically played the album start-to-finish and I thought "Man!! This sounds amazing!". Then I go home and listen to the CD, and just kinda go "...meh." and switch to something else halfway through.

    I know Rush die-hards (of which I am not one) will roll their eyes, but my favorite albums that I can listen to without skipping tracks or pausing are in that Farewell to Kings to Moving Pictures era. Farewell to Kings is by far my favorite album of theirs.
  3. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Actually I think Moving Pictures is everybody's favorite Rush album, and not for nothing. The songs are great and it has that perfect Rush balance of edgy hard rock and techno-cerebral-whatever. If that's a thing.

    I especially like side 2, and the synth doesn't bother me at all. It's a great example of what I still wish I heard in their music.
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I'm an old school Rush fan as well. I might like the new stuff if I had more time to listen. The thing for me is with Rush, and lots of other bands, when I was learning bass in middle school and high school this is what I listened to and learned so I had time and was really into it, etc.

    I'm guessing if I was in high school now, I'd' be learning "new" Rush.
  5. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    I actually liked Clockwork Angels over the past few Rush albums.

    That's just another thing that makes Rush a great band...different sounds...different eras...
  6. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    It's definitely not wrong. I have been a Rush fan for a long long time, and I really tried to like Clockwork, but to no avail. I don't care for it at all. I think sometimes we tell ourselves that something MUST be good if it's by a certain group, so we listen to it while we tell ourselves "I need to like this...I need to like this...it's Rush, so I need to like this." But Clockwork just doesn't work for me. I agree with some of the other posters in this thread who feel that Rush is off base on this album. I would like to see Rush get back to playing Rush music. And yeah, let's hear some synth as well! Moving Pictures is, IMO, a classic example of excellent Rush music.
  7. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    I play Geddy in a Rush tribute band. Hemispheres is definitely the bass players album. Give it a listen. So many beautiful yet aggressive harmonizing bass lines and the playing is just phenomenal. Not just the title track, the whole album.

    I, too, do not like the newer albums. I agree totally that they're not leaving enough space and they have lost their sense of melody. Maybe Geddy's change in vocal range is the culprit? I get lost after Counterparts.

    Our band plays up to Hold Your Fire. After that... go see Rush. We play what Rush used to and doesn't... with obvious staples that must be there.

  8. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    For me, it's not the music on the new stuff, but the lack of melody that I find off-putting. There's nothing to "grab on to", IMO. Like others, I got into Rush with Moving Pictures, and now own everything from their first album up to Test For Echo. I tried to like Snakes and Arrows, but it just didn't click with me. It's as if Geddy has fogotten how to write a good melody, which makes me sad, because the music they're writing is really good.
  9. I like Clockwork Angels. I think it's one of the better overall Rush albums of the last 20 plus years. Songs like "Headlong Flight" take me back to earlier, guitar driven Rush. Honestly the heavy synth era was my least favorite. I do agree that some synth is good such as the Farewell to Kings through Signals era. But I really didn't miss it in Clockwork Angels.
  10. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    ^ Exactly. Not just vocal melody either. Instrumental melody is missing, guitar and bass. It's all dissonant and not pretty or "hooky" at all. Dissonance is cool when used sparingly.
  11. marmadaddy


    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I'm with Keddy regarding Hemispheres as the "bass players" album. It's certainly his most melodic work on bass, with AFtK coming in a close second.

    Having said that, as another cliche middle-aged bass player who spent his teenage years learning as much as I could off every album from Rush through Signals, I love both Snakes and Arrows and Clockwork Angels. As far as I'm concerned it's their best work since Moving Pictures. The writing and playing is phenomenal. Geddy's style has morphed, he's more groove than melody oriented now, but I dig the grooves.

    Nick Raskulinecz certainly likes his eq and mastering on the bottom heavy side and it's a wee bit much for me on CA but on the whole I very much like both albums sonically.
  12. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    This. We all have our favorite Rush eras.
    Mine is Caress thru Hemispheres. While I like all their albums, Their Progressive era speaks to me most. Probably because I was still in high school during that time and music was very magical and mystical to me then.
    "Sweet memories... flashing very quickly by. Reminding me and giving me a reason why" - Alex Lifeson
  13. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    I guess I'm the opposite.

    I've been a Rush fan since the early '80s, first saw them live during their Power Windows tour, and most recently the Clockwork Angels tour.

    I have to say I enjoyed the CA show probably best of all.

    I dunno, as a child of the '80s I guess i've gotten sorta calloused to the synthesizer stuff and just enjoy seeing and hearing Geddy do his thing on his Fenders.

    Plus as an older guy myself I appreciate the fact that those guys are still together doing their thing after all these years, so it would be hard for me to criticize anything they do at this point. Definitely a band to be proud of.
  14. Not in my opinion. I'm 54 and I own all their releases. I had the first LP personally autographed by the band (Peart, not Rutsy)

    "Sludgy" is the perfect word for CA.

    And the last tour was even more sludgy live. Wholly unenjoyable.

    Rush needs to get back to better hooks, less production.
  15. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Biiiiig +1
  16. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I think you're onto something there.

    That is the one song I do like, especially the part where they deconstruct the groove and it sounds like "By-Tor". But, again, they use a little space there, which is hard to find on the album.

    I really liked Caravan as a single, but it sounds different to me on the album. More compression, more low end, something. It ruined the song for me. The other pre-release single, BU2B, was always too much of a noise-fest for me.

    No doubt, the relationship we had with our music during that time is what defines our tastes for the rest of our lives.
  17. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    For me, Caress of Steel, All the World's a Stage, A Farewell to Kings and Moving Pictures all stand out as the most amazing albums ever done by any band.

    From the debut, right up until Signals, Rush was possibly my favorite band, but to me, Signals was a step in the wrong direction, and the Grace Under Pressure tour was the last time I saw them live.

    Don't get me wrong; I still love those guys, but Clockwork Angels sits in its CD Case most of the time, and I don't even own Power Windows, Roll the Bones, Vapor Trails, etc.

    For me, Geddy got bland as a vocalist when he stopped screaming his head off.

    I thought Screaming Geddy was the most unique and interesting vocalist in the history of rock.
  18. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    You're missing out on Power Windows. Some stellar bass work on that album.
  19. I'm just the opposite. I like Geddy's voice better now that he is older and doesn't scream like he used to! I actually have a hard time listening to some of the early stuff now because his high screaming voice starts to grate on me after a while. I know that's not right for a true Rush fan like myself to say but I guess it's just a product of getting older.
  20. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Rush was one of my favorite bands until really Moving Pictures, and while I liked some stuff on Signals, they spun completely off of my radar after that. I tried and tried and TRIED to get back into them, but just couldn't get past the direction they took. Peart's lyrics and playing have always been phenomenal; Geddy and Alex are great - but I just cannot get into Rush other than the occasional song.

    My first Rush was 2112, and I came across that in 1977. Went onto Fly By Night, All the World's a Stage, Caress of Steel, and was BLOWN away by Moving Pictures. For me, they went out on top... more than 30 years ago. Sad but true, and YMMV.