Bush
Razorblade Suitcase


3.0
good

Review

by Old Uncle Al USER (86 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2006 | 33 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


Sometimes deemed as Bush's In Utero, other times deemed as Bush's other album, but sometimes, and most unfairly, deemed as crap. Sure, this isn't the most independent, individual or even musically rewarding album, but it's hard to deny that at times it packs a rather large punch. The English quartet must not have gotten the memo; Grunge was dead in 1994, following the suicide of Kurt Cobain, who needs no introduction. But, as naive as these guys were to the American music scene, they not only continued to make the music they liked, but became the post grunge heart-throb of 1995, following the release of Sixteen Stone. They soon became a band to watch out for, touring America as hardly as they could. The follow up Razorblade Suitcase, was less successful. Hell, it was deemed Worst Album of the Year by Rolling Stone. But, y'know what? It's quite an enjoyable album, if a little raw and unseasoned.

Bush - Razorblade Suitcase (1996)
The Players:

Gavin Rossdale: Lead Vocals, Guitars,
Nigel Pulsford: Guitars
Dave Parsons: Bass
Robin Goodridge: Drums

Rising from grunge, just in time for the alternative craze of the mid Nineties, this album sounds almost like it hasn't decided which way to go. Of course, there are the frequent Grunge hits, but there are just some songs that really don't belong on the album at all. Take Swallowed, for example. It's a masterful grunge piece, as dark as it is rocking. But then again, take a look at History, a noisy, dirty and very unpolished song that falls in the middle of grunge and unlistenable noise. The song features fast riffs, and British as they can be vocals. The chorus is a puzzle that really doesn't fit with the verse. The song is different, but not as enjoyable as many others. Alternative? Perhaps. Grunge? Perhaps. What is it? Little more than noise.

Still though, as far this album is concerned, there are some downright spectacular songs ranging from the slow, mournful piece that is Synapse, to the 70's punk/90's emo influenced A Tendency To Start Fires. Both songs are great, if different, and equal in terms of performance. The vocals especially. Gavin is arguably one of the best Grunge singers of all time, with only a few exceptions. They suit the songs greatly, which are little more than a few power chords being hammered out of a guitar. The occasional solo comes in, with incredible results. Usually an unrehearsed blend of heavy distortion and occasional un-awarness of the sound, they're fun to listen to and seem to fit the songs every time.

Of course, some songs just fail to impress. Bonedriven is a cheap Swallowed mimic, but slower and more boring. Mouth is a slow, cheap and very, very untalented song that features a very simple guitar, and the I-don't-care drums, minus the passion. The whole song itself lacks passion, as the band member do they're best, but end up almost trying to sound unexciting and very untalented in terms of they're music. The chorus is okay, featuring a simple chord structure that rips off Smells Like Teen Spirit to a rather large extent. The vocals on both of these songs are quite fine, if a little dull to suit the music. Where are the intellegent lyrics? The crazy metaphors, the shouts of mayhem? Where?! Not here, that's for sure. Sure, they may feature some mild parts that can catch your ear for a limited time, but the little things cannot save the big aspects; the noise-infested, almost brainless filler songs. Oh, those filler songs! What can we do about them? Answer: Skip. Simple as.

There are a few lackluster songs, sure, but some songs burst with beauty and enrgy. The Glycerine influenced, string chased solo guitar piece that can bring a tear to your face. The hard, rough edge of the singles, Greedy Fly and Swallowed, and the slow paced, majestic finale track Distant Voices, which, to a certain, extent, features some amazing, folk-sy guitar playing and the best vocal performance on the album. The album's slower, less Bush-grunge songs are definitely the best, which display they're softer side. Songs like Distant Voices and Synapse feature some insanely gloomy melodies, but under the surface is a relatively happy song. The best by far though, is the powerful Swallowed, which is they're best single and/or song. The song has everything, a slow, climbing verse with promise, and then the chorus that features the best riff on the album, save for the mini-solo int Distant Voices, and also features the little solo that could, a melodic and fierce solo that really isn't heard that much on the album.

So. Is this album worth picking up? Yes, but be prepared for many filler songs or songs that sound exactly alike. This album would've definitely scored higher if it was fined down three songs, but sadly this album has some very cavernous lows. The songs that have an annoying riff with a very squeaky distortion, and the lyrics that make no sense and aren't even entertaining. Otherwise, the album has some incredible songs, mainly three songs that are definite classics in the Bush library. So, if you're looking for a good, rip roaring 90's flashback, you could definitely do worse than pick this up. Just ignore a few filler songs.

Thanks for reading,
AV8RS



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Comments:Add a Comment 
pattern_recognition
April 23rd 2006


950 Comments


I bought this years ago, and absolutely hated every second of it; hated the songs, hated the production, hated the whole thing.
Now I still don't like it much (I think it's their weakest album in what was quite a consistent career), but I do rather enjoy Cold Contagious and Swallowed. Bonedriven is pretty awful though, and not much else keeps my attention for long. There is, however, a really cool remix of Mouth on their remix album, and it also featured in the movie An American Werewolf In Paris.
Goddamn I know some useless crap.
Excellent review, by the way. Thumbs up.

Zebra
Moderator
April 23rd 2006


2647 Comments


Good work on the review, but I've never been a huge Bush fan. However this does sound like something that I would enjoy because of its rawness.

BringHomeTheBacon
April 23rd 2006


248 Comments


Great review but I don't think I'll be listening to this considering I never really cared for Sixteen Stone. I've heard a few songs from this, I think they were "Cold Contagious" "Swallowed" and "Mouth" and none really impressed me.

Damrod
Moderator
April 23rd 2006


1093 Comments


My Bush-phase is long over, but back in the day I really loved this one. Songs like "Swallowed" were my favorites, as well as "Bonedriven". Have not listened to it in ages, I doubt I would really like it anymore. I agree with the rating though, just and fitting.

Nice review :thumb:

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, thank you, kind sir!

The Door Mouse
April 23rd 2006


2092 Comments


this is a good album but 16 stone is alot better


Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed. This is a good one, though.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15743 Comments


Good review, again. I'd love to see you do an overall.

*Frantically searches CD collection for 39th review*

Never was a big fun of Bush, but Glycerine was cool.

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This isn't overall? :upset:

Thanks anyway.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15743 Comments


Well it's like here's the good songs, here's the bad songs, heres the mehh songs. Your very good at your style, but you're almost at 40.

thumbs up!

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Would you suggest I change? Cause I might blow at overalls.

tom79
April 23rd 2006


3384 Comments


Good Review :thumb:
I've really only listened to Sixteen Stone by Bush but i've heard the singles from this and they were pretty good.This Message Edited On 04.23.06

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Bent Outta Shape

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Swallowed is incredible. I plan on covering that song soon.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15743 Comments


Overalls are pretty simple. Just approach it like your writing an essay and don't confine one topic to one paragraph.

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'll give it a try. Thanks for the advice.

matt4
April 24th 2006


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I couldn't disagree with this review more. I have been an avid Bush fan for years. 10 years to be exact (since I was in the 5th grade!) Swallowed actually came out when I was in the 6th grade. I liked it a lot then, but now it's one of my least favorite on the album. So poppy, I guess. This is my favorite Bush album of four major releases. I love how raw it is. I love the lyrics. History is one of the better songs on the album. The chorus fits 100% in the song, etc. Maybe I love it so much because I have so many fond memories of it from my childhood. If that were so, then I would still love Korn and the like as well, though, wouldn't I? I gave this record a 5.0. That's just where I stand.

Two-Headed Boy
April 24th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Woah a 5? Well, you do make a decent point, as I have those kind of albums...

CharmlessMan
April 24th 2006


169 Comments


Bush are alright. Sure, their sound does draw pretty strong comparisons to Nirvana (doesn't everything) but I still feel that this band weren't the cheap knock-offs that a lot of people suggest they were, they were their own band. They took grunge and put an English touch to it. I bought this a long time after I bought Sixteen Stone and have gotta say that Sixteen Stone has a better energy, because they had something to prove, they wanted to show America that the English can do Grunge too, whereas they kind of didn't know where they were going with Razorblade Suitcase so it lacks the energy and intensity of Sixteen Stone.
Razorblade Suitcase is still a good album though, 'Swallowed' and 'Personal Holloway' are my personal favs and I enjoy the random, somewhat pointless lyrics that Gavin Rossdale pens, they have a certain charm.
Think I might pull this one outta the collection and listen to it again.

hafez
April 24th 2006


7 Comments


i used to really like bush. this album has some good songs and some bad ones. i'd say 2nd out of 4 with sixteen stone being first.

f_u_c_t
June 14th 2006


1406 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah sixteen stone knocks this out of the park. This is still a very solid album IMO, but it seems to drag as* after about the 9th song. But still a good listen on a rainy day.



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