Rush: Caravan Single
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I know that I recently wrote about my lack of excitement for the upcoming Rush tour. One of my biggest complaints was that this was a tour before album sort of situation. There were some hints of surprises, but nothing definite. Needless to say, I haven't been planning on going.
Today, that all changed.
Imagine my surprise to see the email in my Inbox telling me it was "New Music Time". The new album has a title, Clockwork Angels. Not only does it have a title, two tracks are recorded, done and released. As of today. So, like the sucker I am, I immediately went and bought the digital "EP".
First off, the digital booklet is only 5 pages, but really quite beautiful. Included are lyrics for the two tracks, as well as some new artwork by the ever reliable Hugh Syme. While certainly not necessary, it is a nice addition. But let's get to what matters: the music.
"Caravan" slowly builds with guitar and bass layers, a hint of mellotron, and some ambient noises, until the band kicks in with a thunderous chord. Immediately evident is the influence of Nick Raskulinecz, whose enthusiasm for working with the band on Snakes and Arrows was evident in the power and energy of that album. Again, the sound on "Caravan" is full, multi-layered and rich. Alex Lifeson's guitar is front and center here, though always with the classic three-man-band balance that Rush is so good at. There is a lot to love in this track. It definitely has some great progressive chops going on, with interesting rhythms, changes in style, and wonderful progression from start to finish. Great song, and great single to tantalize us.
"BU2B" can officially be dubbed the worst titled Rush song ever. Yes, ever. But the second the songs starts, all is forgiven. This is, without doubt, the heaviest Rush has sounded in a long, long time. Another cynical song, lyrically, directed at those who unquestioningly believe (in any philosophy really, it is broadly applicable), it is a powerful statement of thinking for yourself. Musically, this one is a monster. The main riff is just incredible. Again, this one keeps things dynamic, with more mellow and melodic parts. But that monster riff never goes away. It melts into the rest of the song at parts, yet it is ever present.
Final Verdict: Adore it
"Far Cry", the first single released off Snakes and Arrows was a great track. I ate it up. Guess what, these two tracks blow that away. It is amazing that these guys have been together as long as they have (36 years now), but they honestly are sounding better and better. Caravan is a fantastic little release to build excitement for the upcoming tour, remind us why Rush is just so good, and hold us over until we have more songs. I have to say, this release has completely reignited my love of this band.