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Bush's The Kingdom: ambitious, confident, passionate

British radio-rock stalwarts Bush let their guard down on album number eight, The Kingdom

Bush - The Kingdom
(Image: © BMG)

Bush were written off by many as a third-tier grunge band when they broke through in the mid90s, which presumably had them weeping into their vast royalties. 

But they arguably had a bigger influence on the American radio rock boom of the early 2000s than anyone else, precisely because they were unencumbered by punk ideals and were openly going for the big time.

Their eighth album is just as polished as you’d expect, with high-end production and layered guitars putting frontman Gavin Rossdale’s emotive vocals front and centre where they belong. 

And while their heavier moments, as on the dark, bass-driven Bullet Holes (last heard in the film John Wick 3) and the fuzz-laden, woozy Our Time Will Come scream of Bush’s grunge-era heritage, this album shows a softer side of Rossdale too: Quickside finds him lonely and unable to settle down, while Undone is a pretty moment of quiet reflection and emotional honesty. 

The Kingdom is Bush at their most confident, the sound of a band with plenty of ambition and passion left in their bones.