By any reasonable analysis, Gavin Rossdale and his band Bush have operated for so long now in the Venn diagram set where critical disdain and commercial success overlap they’ve almost come to define it. The conventional narrative has Rossdale craving credibility, but unable to reconcile this with the grunge-lite, radio-bland output that seemingly flows in his veins.
Bush: Man On
Post-grunge pathfinders tread a road most travelled, but with pizzazz now in short supply.
The more successful material seems to understand this: more elbow room in the verses, and tempos straying from the glut of wearying mid-paced morass. Eye Of The Storm shines in particular; a slow burning, well-crafted anthem reminiscent of the Verve Pipe’s better moments. Unfortunately the few gems on offer are dulled by association, and no amount of fairy dust – and at times the stuff is being spooned on – can elevate a plethora of pedestrian also-ran tunes. And at 14 tracks long, a judicious edit might have been wise.
It’s unlikely any of this will faze the regular Bush devotee, and the maxim ‘if it ain’t broke...’ has served many a career. What ultimately disappoints, whatever one’s opinion, is that any remnants of pizzazz have been subsumed by the merely proficient.