Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Brooding mouth

The band Bush's second album was the brooding guitar-driven Razorblade Suitcase, released in 1996 and produced by Steve Albini. It definitely has some of the hallmarks of Albini's sound: It's raw, slow, starts and stops as the emotional flow of the songs demand. Listen to this album, and listen to Albini's production of Scout Niblett's raw and noisy later albums a decade later, and Albini's contribution to the sound of both becomes even more obvious.

While Bush was contemporary with early Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails, and their heavy guitar-driven sound decidedly owed some credit to the grunge movement, they had their own sound. They weren't trying to imitate grunge, they were just appropriating the parts of grunge that they wanted for their own purposes. This particular song is "Mouth" off of Razorblade Suitcase. It's interesting that the single version of the song was quite different from the slow and brooding album version, the single version was popped up with a drum machine track and some electronica doodlings and sped up to 90mph in an attempt to give it more Euro-pop appeal. I guess the album version is just too slow and brooding for radio. Well, and 8 minutes long. That's a problem too. But this, the album version, represents Bush's sound on Razorblade Suitcase quite well. Great album. Get it if you can find it.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

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