Recordings: Rush – Snakes and Arrows

    Classic-rock radio mainstays Rush are unimpressed with the state of the world and feel the need to let it know. Granted, they haven’t released a killer album since Signals in 1982, and its masterful predecessors Moving Pictures and the criminally underrated A Farewell to Kings are even further gone.

    It should come as no surprise that their state-of-the-world album Snakes and Arrows (did Samuel L. help them out?) doesn’t rank up there with the legendary rock-god riffs that showed us that Tom Sawyer really did have a mean, mean stride. This new venture kicks off with two relatively decent tracks – “”Far Cry”” and “”Armor and Swords”” – which, on a greater album, could serve as decent filler. From there, Rush descend into hollow religious insights, pun-filled political sleepers and lyrics cheesed in anti-Bush rhetoric that even Neil Young wouldn’t touch (in “”The Way the Wind Blows,”” singer Geddy Lee wants to know why we let our “”child get left behind””) – not to mention three, count them, three droning instrumentals. Even the percussive beat of Neil Peart (still the greatest drummer of all time) and the Jimmy Page-lite guitar of Alex Lifeson fade into the expressionless noise of repetitive crescendos and stunted melodies. Once successful in combining the heavy metal of Led Zeppelin with the experimental prog-rock of Pink Floyd, Rush repeat the same error of their past 25 years: They abandon the progressive virtuoso that once connected them to their fans. Then again, this calls for another tour, delivering generations of pseudo-psychedelics the epic sounds of yore blasted through 3,000-watt amps three inches from their faces. Just like the good ol’ days.

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