Eagerly anticipated by just about no one, Bush’s new release, Golden State, will be hitting the record store ‘Used Bins’ faster than you can say Cowboy Junkies.
I imagine the creators of Napster had albums like this in mind when they gave their software to the music hungry masses. Their initial pitch to sponsors probably went something like this: “We cannot allow the recording industry to trick people into buying Bush albums under the auspices that they are an ‘aggressive,’ ’emotional,’ or even ‘good’ band. By circulating Bush mp3’s prior to their album’s release, we can make sure people give their 15 dollars to the equally incompetent Limp Bizkit instead.”
Since forming in 1992, Bush have perused a career in mediocrity. Sure, they’ve had a couple hits here and there, but just like Oasis proved with “Wonderwall,” even crappy bands have their moments. “Glycerin” and “Everything Zen” might have been catchy enough for the MTV Buzz Bin, but for how many albums can a band pretend they’re the British Nirvana and still respect themselves? With Golden State, the answer is apparently four.
Over the course of twelve songs, heartthrob Gavin Rossdale proves adept at the forced expression of teen-angst. Lyrics like, “Anaesthetize these troubled nerves over to you to make it work/ Agents of change set headfires/ I’d rather starve than fake alive,” aren’t eloquent or passionate; they’re just embarrassing, like finding an old high school journal written from before you realized how hard it is to craft good poetry.
For the most part, Golden State explores Rossdale’s disillusionment with relationships, though no one really knows why (I don’t care what the lyrics say, dating Gwen Stefani can’t be that bad). When dumped for the first time, songs like “My Engine is With You,” will give solace to those too young to remember Kurt Cobain. Maybe they’ll cry in their room, bitter and jumping around to the song’s boring, punkish riff. Maybe they’ll buy a Bush poster for their wall, with Rossdale in fashionable poses, and put it next to a naked Blink-182. They’ll go to a Bush concert and tell all their friends they moshed, and then maybe they’ll buy a Jawbreaker album and find out what punk’s all about.
“Headful of Ghosts” stands as the one tolerable song on the album. It’s not ground-breaking, but simple, catchy alterna-pop with a lilting chorus. Still, you can’t escape the feeling that Rossdale is less concerned with his singing than how his hair looks.
Do yourself a favor. Peruse Golden State in mp3 formant. That way, all you’ve spent is the time it takes to drag the files from your desktop to the recycle bin.