Album review

Rush - The Spirit Of Radio

There's a genuinely transgressive thrill in liking Canadian prog trio Rush. Although critically damned early on due to drummer/lyricist Neil Peart's appreciation of right-wing allegorist Ayn Rand, their Zep/Yes-inspired techno-rock nevertheless attracted huge audiences of marginalised '70s teens.

By 1980 their music had evolved into a unique hybrid of Philip Glass synth fanfares, chiming McGuinn riffs and, er, white reggae, with a more mature Peart revealing himself to be an incisive lyricist with an acute and compassionate understanding of his band's fan base ("Subdivisions") and a wry attitude towards showbusiness ("Limelight"). All of this would count for nothing if Rush didn't rock; but check the insane "2112 Overture", the jazz-pop-reggae fusion of "The Spirit Of Radio" and the oozing Moogspace of "Tom Sawyer" for emphatic proof they do. Embarrassingly great.

Rating: 4 / 10


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The 39th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


A lot to get through here, but I'm indebted once more to the resource that is www.nyctaper.com, who this week have posted two amazing live sets by Steve Gunn and Ryley Walker. Elsewhere, there's a new Waterboys track to check out,...