Sunday, September 16, 2007

Confessions Of A Rush Fan: A Review Of Snakes and Arrows

I've been a Rush fan since I was 8 years old. On the way to South Bend, Indiana to visit my grandparents my brother put in New World Man from the album Signals, I was very intrigued. Then I found Moving Pictures in my brother's stash and found Tom Sawyer, Rush was instantly my favourite band at the tender age of 9. To me Rush has never made a mediocre album since their debut in 1974 and has been a constant source of enjoyment, enlightenment and influence.

I was giddy as hell when I hear Snakes and Arrows was coming out this year. I have been starved for some new music. Really nothing has piqued my interest since Minus the Bear and Thievery Corporation as far as new music, so I was salivating for some good tunes, especially from my favourite band of all time. Then it came out. I made a bee line to the nearest music store and snagged up Snakes and Arrows. I already was impressed with Far Cry, their first single. I was expecting the typical Rush fair. Then I put it in. I wasn't impressed. No problem, I'll just give it a couple of weeks, after all, I didn't like Test for Echo and after a while and it grew on me. Snakes continued to dissapoint. For the first time Rush made a mediocre album. Musically it wasn't that bad, a couple of hits and misses, but it was the lyrics that really dissapointed me. Neil sounded like he was whining. Just like Sting after Zeyotta Mendotta (The Police), he was whining, it kind of sucked. He railed on Christianity (in interviews) and ignored Muslim extremists, like all of Europe and far, far left liberals here in the states. Seriously, both extremes are dangerous, why not address it? Oh well. I'll go song by song

1) Far Cry - Damn good song, really gets me going, especially during workouts.

2) Armor and Sword - Goes on too long, repeats the same line too much which really drags down the song. Probably should have stopped at the 4 minute mark. Did have the best lyric of the album, "Nobody gets into heaven without a fight" which was repeated way too fucking much.

3) Workin' Them Angels - Third best song of the album. Good tune.

4) The Larger Bowl - Ehh, alright. Kinda folky for my taste.

5) Spindrift - Started out great, then kind of lost its way, turned bad.

6) The Main Monkey Business - Now this is Rush, great instrumental. Probably one of the best.

7) The Way The Wind Blows - It blows sucky. Didn't like this song at all. Blues to rock, back to blues, and also has the whiniest lyrics of the album.

8) Hope - Ehhh, not that great.

9) Faithless - Same as Hope. Not that great.

10) Bravest Face - Ok tune, probably the best lyrics of the album. But it's kind of a downer, makes me want to drank, like now.

11) Good News First - Good music, again whiny lyrics.

12) Malignant Narcissicm - title based on one of my favourite films of all time, Team America (a line from the movie is repeated in the song). Song was made well after recording was done. Geddy was screwing around and Neil and the producer were in the room and decided to make this a last minute addition. Good thing they did, it kicks ass.

13) We Hold On - Rush has always closed out an album with a good tune, Mystic Rythms, High Water, Carve the Stone, Out of the Cradle, Between The Wheels (especially!), all great songs at the end of Rush albums, this is no different.

Album Review: 2 out of 4. Still a good album, but kind of dissapointing.


John-O said...

I was hoping you would post your thoughts on the new record. Mine are way back in the blog archives, in May when the record came out.

I played Grace in the car on the way to Bloomington a couple of weeks ago, and that album just dies for me after Body Electric. Red Lenses might be the worst Rush song ever, and I'm not given to actively disliking Rush songs; and Kid Gloves ain't much better. Between The Wheels brings it back a bit, but it's still quite a drop-off from Red Sector A.

As far as Snakes, I was somewhat disappointed at first, but it's sort of grown on me, especially from Far Cry through Spindrift. I thought the instrumentals were really good, too (echoes of YYZ in Malignant Narcissism). Workin' Them Angels is my second favorite song, after Far Cry. I rarely get past Spindrift when I listen to it, though, although I really like Faithless (sort of a bookend to Freewill).

Available Light and Everyday Glory are really good end songs, too - and I absolutely agree with you about how they always manage to put a great song at the end (although I would put the "especially!" after Mystich Rhythms).

John-O said...

Er, Mystic Rhythms, that is.

Prime Mover said...

Agreed on Mystic Rythms, definately. But I really do like Between the Wheels, especially the live version on the R30 album.

John-O said...

See, you had to go and say the R30 album. Apparently I missed the fact that there was a CD of the DVD in the deluxe version, and that the CD would not be sold separately (as Rio was). I thought I was possessed of all the Rush stuff apart from compilations. Alas, no. I picked up the deluxe version of R30 and watched it while Amy was at a family reunion and I had the house to myself. First of all, the drum solo was amazing. Second, damn straight on Between The Wheels. It takes on a whole new sound live, at this stage of their career - just like Red Sector A from the Rio set (and from the R30 show they played here). Good call - thanks...

Prime Mover said...

Glad I could help a fellow Rush fan!