Zen x Four (DVD & CD)



by Two-Headed Boy USER (86 Reviews)
March 19th, 2006 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

When someone writes a grunge review, usually within the first paragraph there are numerous mentions of Kurt Cobain, the face of grunge. There's no doubt that he's a musical icon in popular culture. Grunge was a rather big thing in the early nineties. But with the tragic death of Kurt, it seemed that grunge, the most promising music at the time, had come to an abrupt stop. They weren't exactly right, but they weren't wrong either. Bush was a British grunge band, who just heard word about grunge a few years before their first release, Sixteen Stone, was released. Fronted by Gavin Rossdale, who currently is more famous for his love life with popular icon Gwen Stefani, Bush was little more than four British boys with a desire to rock and make it big. Moving to America to start a more promising career in music, Bush landed a record deal with Interscope and their career began to take flight. With Sixteen Stone, Bush kept on dropping the hits (Machinehead, Little Things and Comedown are the most prominent), but while big in America, their homeland was not as interested, as it was moving on to a more general audience friendly scene. But their second release, Razorblade Suitcase, was supposedly a letdown. Deemed worst album of the year by media giants Rolling Stone, followed by another underestimated album Weezer's Pinkerton. But the hits kept coming and coming, and following a good few years, Bush put out five albums and eventually disbanded in 2002 following the unsuccessful Golden State.

We drop off at this album. It could've been a compilation of their best songs, it could've been a live album, it could've been a videography. Instead, they throw all of these things at us at once, giving us little time to exactly figure out what this was. Regardless, this is a great album with some stellar live versions of classic songs, and some just plain eery videos, most notably the Greedy Fly video. We'll get into that later, though.

The CD (Disc One):
Falling at just about nine songs, the cd is a live album. It has some great live renditions, all from Sixteen Stone which is a shame, considering there are some better songs off of Razorblade Suitcase. But, regardless, there are some great songs on here. The acoustic songs are very solemn and enjoyable, with Glycerine as the crowning acoustic song. Probably the best choice for a Bush acoustic song, this song has simple chords played on an acoustic guitar and relaxed vocals with some great lyrics. And who can resist the powerful chorus, again sporting simple chords. Nothing much else can be said, but it's a great song and a spectacular rendition. The other great acoustic song is Comedown, another of Bush's softer songs. It's darker, however, with painful vocals over solemn guitar. The lyrics are quite simplistic but effective to the song. It adds to the overall feel which is pained but enjoyable at the same time. The other acoustic song is Everything Zen. Easily ignorable, as there is a superior version of it with the electric version with full band. Definitley not the best choice for the acoustic part, especially since it sports electric guitars. The best electric songs are not hard to point out. They're very similar to the album versions, but with a more raw feel. The best being Glycerine, Machinehead and Little Things. All songs are marvelously performed, with stunningly power and a horde of screaming fans providing the mood, which is just the pure raw energy of the band and the people.Machinehead is the heaviest of the songs. It sports fast, punk-inspired guitar licks and ailing vocals, and a steady rhythm section with fast drums and less than impressive bass, but that's hardly noticable here. The chorus is a softer part with simple pop-punk chords, which leads into the simply energizing, two chord breakdown with building-vocals. The lyrics are kind of dark, symbolizing... i'm going to guess pain, as it's rather discreet. Glycerine is the same deal as the acoustice version, but the roar of the crowd when they hear those recognizable chords and those soft vocals. Speaking of which, the audience sings under Rossdale like a bunch of sobbing/screaming 12 year olds at a Britney Spears concert. The chorus also features a violin, which the acoustic version lacked. And with the electric guitar, Rossdale can show of his pipes quite fine. Little Things is seven minutes long. Though a bit long at times, it's a supremely enjoyable combo of fast guitar and powerful drumming. At most times you can almost feel the audience in the mosh pit jumping and shoving as an act of passion to the band. When the chorus rolls around, the audience (though barely noticable) goes nuts. Repeat for about six minutes, add a couple solos, and you have the seven minute finale to the cd.

CD Mark:

The DVD (Disc Two):
The DVD features the videos and a couple of two minute (literally) documentaries on the making of a video and the making of a cd (The Science Of Things). The extras are nothing special at all. Though allowing very brief interviews with the band (aka Gavin), and some behind the scenes looks at the video "The Chemicals Between Us", the extras are completely overshadowed by the videos by a longshot. Totalling about five minutes, it's completely ignorable.

The vidoes themselves are a mixed breed. Some are extremely enjoyable ("Swallowed"), others are just bland concert videos that wouldn't even have been good in the eighties ("Warm Machines" , "Cold Contagious"). But the best videos on here are just complete landmarks. Swallowed is an odd batch of teen goth parties and make-out sessions. Girls sitting on speakers and shape-shifting guys give this video an edge. The band somehow finds themselves among the party playing music. The song, though, is timeless. Possibly Bush's best single, a video made by Ed D. Wood Jr. would'n't stop anyone from have a good time. Defintley a landmark for post-grunge videos. The other best one is Greedy Fly, featuring an acting (but for a total of about 10 seconds) Gavin, an empty dark room with agressive decectives, a random guy with a huge gash i his back, and the dissection of a 5 foot fly, revealing a fetus of bandmate Nigel Pulsford. A dark video, somewhat disturbing. The ripping open of a fly (while it's alive) causes some nauseous feelings, but I'm a sucker for dark art (if you can call it that). Add a couple of large bug-infested refrigerators and the consumption of bug-filled booze, and you have a supremely enjoyable video, though this will defintley not appeal to some. Other notable videos are here too. All of the videos from Sixteen Stone are enjoyable, though some can cause a lack of interest. The highlight is Little Things, complete with, uh, dying people and an angry looking band playing the hell out of those instruments (which, I might add, are nice). Add a goth chick, and you've got a video! Another of the best videos is The Chemicals Between Us, featuring Bush playing in the middle of a dark, ghetto-esque street, while also switching a large white room with tye-died trees and a handfull of different cultures enjoying, well, Gavin kung-fuing a guy. Quite odd, but enjoyable nontheless. Another good video is Letting the Cables Sleep, which features an empty apartment, the members of Bush, and a shirtless Gavin ("Hooray!" go the girl's). Overall another creepy video, this video is dark, rabidly romantic and just plain odd sometimes. A good candidate for the best of the Science of Things videos.

DVD Mark:

Overall, I suggest you get this combo if you like Grunge, Bush, Alternative music, and great videos. There are some classics here, and some, well, not-so-classic songs. But the best part is by far the CD, which may lack visuals and shirtless Gavins, but it's the newest addition to the Bush library in regards to songs. I also like how they focus on Bush's best albums for the video, considering the other two (Deconstructed, Golden State) are not as great as the other three. So, I give this a conditional reccomendation. For a good price, too! (on average, $12).

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

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Comments:Add a Comment 
March 19th 2006


Ugh, very good review, lot's of good info, but I care nothing for this band. I can't comment except to say that I've heard and seen Bush live before and have seen plenty of their vidieos and listend to lot's of their music (against my will) and find all experiences with their music dismal. I can't give this particular set a rating having not heard or seen it, but just based on the songs/music included and past experiances, a nice round 2 would just about do it.

March 19th 2006


I've never heard much from this band and I'm not very compelled to do so. You did a nice job on the review and I give you credit for doing all of this in since great detail.

Two-Headed Boy
March 19th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Times Gwen Stefani is mentioned in review: one

Just though I'd point that out.This Message Edited On 03.19.06

Two-Headed Boy
March 21st 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Ah, I'm proud of myself! Two featured reviews! Thanks for your support!

April 30th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The DVD is the main highlight. But the acoustic/live songs are killer.

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