Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rush - Feedback [EP] (2004)

While not having the status of rock bands like Led Zeppelin and progressive acts such as Pink Floyd, Rush has a strong and committed following. My own feelings towards Rush have been pretty lukewarm, so in lieu of singing their praises, I choose to respectfully defer you to other, much bigger Rush fans. I've never been particularly impressed by the popular tracks that get played on the radio, and as much as I hate to judge a band by its singer, I've never warmed up to Geddy Lee (and that's purely a matter of taste, as I'm fond of other unconventional singers, like Neil Young, or Mick Jagger). What's more, I haven't found their less accessible and more progressive tracks to be all that exciting, so far (compared to, say, Yes' classic recordings).

However, Working Man is one of the best songs I've ever heard on the radio, and it's not surprising that it comes from the band's first album on which they've been said to sound more like Led Zeppelin. I got that album last year, and this year, I turned toward the band's [relatively] recent EP of cover songs. Feedback is something of a tribute to the songs that inspired Rush in their formative years. The song selection is excellent - two songs by the Yardbirds, two by the Buffalo Springfield (including Mr. Soul), and a few by The Who (with a nod to Blue Cheer) and Cream. And impressively, the songs sound really good in their cover versions. Not surpassing the originals, necessarily, but good enough to enjoy listening to in their own right. That gives me the impression that Rush is an exceedingly competent band - just that the style of music they usually play isn't entirely in tune with my palate.

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