Long sneered at for going for the American-commercial jugular and finding it, Bush have always been more than just frontman Gavin Rossdale’s still-impressive cheekbones. And they’ve been getting more extreme musically.
2020’s The Kingdom repositioned them as riff-driven heavyweights, and The Art Of Survival is more of the same but heavier still. Guitarist Chris Traynor cranks out slow-paced grindcore riffs midway between Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains, such as the ones that open Kiss Me I’m Dead or underpin Heavy Is The Ocean.
For all Traynor’s heroics, like all Bush albums this is really Rossdale’s. When they take a breather on Creatures Of The Fire, his Eddie Vedder-esque croon seizes the moment, and on the outstanding Identity he deals with paranoia (‘Please keep your kids indoors’) and loss of status (‘We used to be someone, now we’re nobody’) in swashbuckling fashion.
Some people still won’t take Bush seriously. It’s their loss. It always was.