Rush – Clockwork angels (first impressions)

Last week as Planetmosh’s resident Rush expert was unfortunately stuck working a night shift in Crewe then I was one of a small group of very privileged music journalists to be invited to a recording studio in London to listen to the new Rush album being played.  Rather than sending out copies to reviewers, security around this release to prevent leaks meant journalists only got to listen to the album in the presence of the PR team handling the release.  While this makes things a lot harder for reviewing as we get one chance to hear the album whereas I typically listen to an album 3 or 4 times at least before writing a review, the advantage is that we get to hear it through some nice powerful speakers without having to worry about disturbing neighbours.

The whole album has crystal clear sound and is superbly produced with everything clearly audible.  With many bands the bass is mixed down low and is used to just fill out the sound, whereas here the bass is far more prominent and you get to hear the complex bass melodies and they form an important part of the sound.  The vocals are great too, and the rich orchestral introductions are excellently done.

One thing that strikes you is that the whole album has a feel of having been recorded live.  Some bands like to use lots of effects and layers of audio, but they can’t replicate it live, whereas I’m sure Rush could walk on stage and play the whole album (minus the short orchestral intros to some songs) and have it sound just as good as it does here.

“The Wreckers” and “Clockwork angels” are songs that stuck in my mind as being particularly good, which doesnt mean the rest of the album isnt good – it is good, but these songs just stood out a little.

Conclusions?  This is a seriously good album.  Whether it becomes one of their classics or not is hard to tell from just one listen, but I can certainly see it being one of the best albums to be released this year.  I certainly want to hear the album again.

The album will be released in a fan pack edition on June 11th, then the standard release is on July 9th.

Track listing:

1. Caravan
2. BU2B
3. Clockwork angels
4. The Pedlar 1
5. The anarchist
6. Carnies
7. Halo effect
8. Seven cities of gold
9. The wreckers
10. Headlong flight
11. The pedlar 2
12. BU2B2
13. Wish them well
14. The garden

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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