RUSH – Clockwork Angels

I remember the first time I heard Rush. I was perusing my Dad’s phenomenal LP collection one day and stumbled upon Caress of Steel. For whatever reason the cover was striking to me- it was mystical, and having just read JRR Tolkien’s legendary Lord of The Rings for the first time around this time, that enraptured me. The song titles were so bizarre and intriguing. And there were only three members of the band, which for some reason struck me as important. I took the album out of its gatefold, set it onto the turntable, and dropped the needle, and let it take me places music had never taken me before. That voice, the guitar work and the drums culminated into some of the most incredible music I had ever heard to that point.

Fast forward to 2012, and Rush are still together and putting out stellar material, though perhaps not as instantly so as it once was. Their latest Roadrunner release, Clockwork Angels, follows the same path as albums like Vapor Trails. Upon my initial listen I wasn’t overwhelmed by it, but truth be told I haven’t truly been instantly overwhelmed with what the band has done on the last few albums. Obviously the musicianship is top notch. With the collective talent of Lee, Lifeson, and Peart, what else would one expect? The album is conceptual and is actually going to be turned into a steampunk novel by Kevin J. Anderson, known for writing novels in the extended universe of Star Wars. There are times it seems the concept loses the songs. At least this was my take on the first listen. After a few more listens I started “getting it.” The only problem I can see listener’s having with Clockwork Angels is the fact that there really aren’t any standout tracks. It’s definitely a conceptual piece that needs to be taken as a whole.

Overall, if you have enjoyed the output of Rush this decade, then chances are good you’ll enjoy this album. I know that there are people that are divided by eras of Rush. I am to a degree as I prefer the more rocking early stuff up through the early 80’s most of all; however I’m a fanatic of the band and essentially enjoy everything the band has done… eventually if not at first. I’m curious to read the novelization.


Chris Martin

David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.

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Featured Albums w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MANDOKI SOULMATES Living In The Gap (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
12:00-13:00 MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL – We Are The Night (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BEN REEL The Nashville Calling (B.Reel Records)

Power Plays w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

ZENITH MOON Gypsy (Golden Robot Records)
RARITY Leave It Alone (New Damage Records)
THE RISING I Want You (indie)
MANDOKI SOULMATES Young Rebels (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
LA GUNS Well Oiled Machine (Golden Robot Records)

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