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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Sun, May 26, 2024

Snakes & Arrows review

Fri, Mar 23, 2007@11:18AM | comments removed/disabled

The very first review of Snakes & Arrows has appeared. It's from UK music journalist Dave Ling and it's a good one:

Friday 23rd March
Yesterday afternoon was occupied by a playback of Rush's new album. Given the paranoia that exists about downloading, this was the UK media's only chance to hear 'Snakes & Arrows' before its release date of April 30. I'd been dying to hear it, unlike the representative of Kerrang! that read a book for pretty much the entire 63 minutes, disappeared for a piss halfway through and f**ked off before the last song ended. Okay, I know Rush's current standing at K! Towers probably lies somewhere beneath Panic! At The Disco, Job For A Cowboy or Aiden - altogether... WHO?! - but I admit, this person's disprespect shocked me, especially as Pegi Cecconi from the Rush office was in the room at the time.
Anyway, 'Snakes & Arrows' is a vast improvement upon the Canadian trio's last album. I'll be frank, 2002's 'Vapor Trails' did very little for me. This time the band have gone heavier (very heavy in places!), with guitarist Alex Lifeson being let off the leash. Opening track (and first single) 'Far Cry' is probably the best song, being reminiscent of the band's 'Permanent Waves' album. But generally speaking, it's extremely strong throughout. Hugh Syme's artwork is excellent as ever, visualising a theme that seems to run through some of the songs; the elements. 'Spindrift', for instance, uses pounding instrumental parts to re-create waves crashing in on the western shore. 'The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)', meanwhile, picks up where the 'Hemispheres'-era track 'Circumstances' left off with its couplet of: "Some of us live in a cloud of fear/Some live behind iron gates". In the vaguest possible way, Rush also pay lip service to the differences between the Middle East and Middle West in 'The Way The Wind Blows', which features the telling line of "Pray... and pass the ammunition" and a great solo from Lifeson. The best compliment that you could pay Peart's words is that they're thoughtful without being stuffy. The album, too, is heavy, but falls short of being one dimensional. You're gonna like it, I'm sure.

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