GAVIN ROSSDALE – Wanderlust
earMUSIC [Release date: 01.07.13]
English-born Gavin Rossdale is perhaps best known now for fronting Bush, but back in 2008 he released his debut solo album Wanderlust. Highly accessible, it produced some chart success in the States and is now re-packaged with bonus tracks.
Rossdale has a rock voice to die for although on this album he reminds me of Dave Matthews. The sixteen tracks, including the bonuses, are fantastic examples of radio-friendly American AOR probably 20 years too late.
The rockier tracks are mixed with the more reflective such as ‘Forever May You Run’ and ‘Love Remains The Same’ whilst ‘The Trouble I’m In’ (with Shirley Manson helping on vocals) is just tremendous. The bonuses are worthwhile too including ‘You Can’t Run From What You Forget’ . ****
INSTITUTE – Distort Yourself
earMUSIC [Release date: 13.05.13]
Rossdale’s post-Bush band Institute released their only album in 2005. Now repackaged with four bonus tracks, the band was really an extension of the Bush post-Grunge vibe not least because also on board was one-time Bush guitarist Chris Traynor. However, they didn’t receive the big promotional push to ensure this album got the wider attention it deserved.
Opening with the single ‘Bulletproof’ the album is full of anthemic hooks and riffing, almost like early Nickelback in places but less insipid lyrically. It also includes the slower standout ‘Ambulances’ and mid-tempo ‘Wasteland’ and ’Secrets And Lies’ – three tracks to convince any doubters – whilst ‘Mountains’ combines melody and sonic punch in equal measures.
The bonus tracks are worthy too, some have appeared previously on alternate album versions but are brought together here for the first time.
Most recently Rossdale and Bush have reunited for the so-so album ‘The Sea Of Memories’ but he has certainly been no slouch in the intervening years since Bush’s hiatus and Institute is well worth reappraisal. ****1/2
Review by David Randall
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