Snakes & Arrows

Rush

Another five years between proper Rush studio albums is enough to drive their most diehard fans to the brink of insanity. Of course, Between 2002’s Vapor Trails and their latest CD Snakes & Arrows, the group issued new and archival live CDs and DVDs, along with an uncharacteristic covers record that solidified the potent chemistry brewing between vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart. But with Snakes & Arrows, a title loosely based on the children's game 'Chutes & Ladders,' Rush prove once and for all they are not your garden-variety “classic rock” band churning out product for the sake of keeping the flame lit and money coming in. No, this is a trio whose relevance is a watershed, an indication that even a stable lineup for over 35 years can continuously hit pay dirt without compromising their integrity.

“Far Cry,” the lead track and first single (as if ‘singles’ mean that much any more), sets the pace as Lifeson’s guitar bolts into action and carries the tune over an ambulant rhythm. Lee’s voice delivers the refrain “I can get back on” assertively without pretense, imbuing the ying and yang of savagery and salvation. The struggle becomes even more evident during “Armor And Sword” as the band builds a mighty wall while Lee declares that “no one gets to their heaven with a fight.” Peart’s lyrics often embrace traces of Ayd Rand’s objectivism (where the mind doesn’t so much create reality as it discovers it); but here, they direct their ire on the human condition of today. “The Larger Bowl” suggests “some are blessed and some are cursed,” but resolves there is “such a lot of pain on this earth.” He’s even more straightforward on “The Way The Wind Blows” by stating matter-of-factly that “it’s like we’re back in the Dark Ages,” yet suggesting there’s not much we can do in a world gone mad except “grow the way the wind blows.”

Thought-provoking lyrics aside, Rush remains a tight-fisted, muscular contender of the first order. Lifeson elegantly strums his acoustic before blasting through a series of power chords, gauging the mood from fatalistic to undulated joy. The spark and electricity exclusive to the three players is especially grounded on “The Main Monkey Business,” “Hope,” and “Malignant Narcissism,” the record’s three instrumentals. On the whole, the songs on Snakes & Arrows will slip in nicely with the hits and favorites uncorked during the obligatory world tour accompanying the record. The seamless continuity, yet unbounded growth that flows through each and every new Rush release is key to their popularity and importance in the rock and roll quagmire. The sound is indisputable, the tension high, and the delivery practically infallible. The standards by which the legendary Canadian threesome live and thrive by never fall victim to concession or half-heartedness. Which is probably why the anticipation — whether it's five months or five years — never lets up for Rush.

~ Shawn Perry

Bookmark and Share

 

Rock News

Google Ads

ELP - Fanfare 1970 - 1997

ELP

David Gilmour - Pompeii


 

Follow Vintage Rock @

Search

VintageRock.com Book!

NEW BOOK COLLECTS
25 INTERVIEWS WITH
VINTAGE ROCK LEGENDS!

book

CELEBRATE 20 YEARS
OF VINTAGEROCK.COM!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER
YOUR COPY TODAY!

Newsletter

Newsletter


Receive HTML?

BCCIV

bcciv

Amazon's Essentials