Of course I like Rush. I adore them. They’re my all time favorite band. But my veneration goes beyond the music. The canadian trio finely displays personality, sense of humor and, last but not least, great vitality and youthfulness. In fact, I think that this is what has allowed the band to maintain an impeccable career through thirty years.
To celebrate this milestone, they’ve produced this EP that features covers of their youth idols. After Neil Peart’s personal tragedies, it was less than an entelechy to think that the band would recover in the way they’ve done. In less than two years the band has managed to release a new studio album (“Vapor Trails”, 2002), the triple live CD and overwhelming double DVD “Rush In Rio” (2003), and now, this “Feedback”.
The sound on the EP is quite close to that on their last studio album; in other words: raw sound, almost without noticeable finishing touches or overdubs; you would say it was recorded live. Lee’s vocals sound great; no comment about the bass. Peart goes on displaying his new approach on drumming, less technical and/or cerebral to the detriment of a more vigorous and organic performance, giving the songs a tremendous impulse. About Lifeson, guitar solos have almost disappeared from his style-book, as he’s more into dense textures and electrifying riffs.
The covers are overall excellent, perfectly adapted to the band’s style and resources. Particularly, I would mention songs like “Summertime Blues”, original from Eddie Cochran although the band takes Blue Cheer’s version as a reference, spicing it with some allusions to Jimmy Hendrix and a few own trademarks. “The Seeker” from The Who, undoubtedly one of the band’s most evident influences (Neil Peart has always mentioned Keith Moon as one of his greatest inspirations), is another of the best covers of the EP, curiously faithful to the original but, at the same time, sounding very Rush.
Along with “Summertime Blues”, probably the best track on the CD is “Crossroads”, a great blues by the legendary Robert Johnson, even though the guys quote Cream’s version as the main reference. Anyway, this powerful blues-rock should be irreplaceable in the band’s live repertoire.
The rest of the Ep is made up of covers that, despite being reasonably good, sound quite close to the originals and lack of Rush’s strong personality; at best, “Heart Full Of Soul” shows a pleasing retro sound; “Seven And Seven Is” also sounds very 60’s, and benefits from Peart’s strong work on drums. “For What It’s Worth” and “Shapes Of Things” are less remarkable, nice pop songs that, if not stand out, offer the most relaxed side of this revered trio.
“Feedback” is a gift for the fans in the band’s 30th anniversary, and a great excuse for them to hit the road and, finally, return to Europe. Thanks.