RUSH "Rush" (Mercury - Import) Review

Melody Maker, March 15, 1975, transcribed by pwrwindows

Blistering heavy rock is not as thick on the ground as it appears. All too many bands open a number in classic heavy metal style and then get fed up a quarter of the way through, eventually copping out with self-indulgent solos and intricate melody lines. Rush - not to be confused with Mahogany Rush, another Canadian band - is one band that has the courage of its convictions. A thundering metal riff starts the opening cut "Finding My Way" and they don't look back for the entire album. They sound like a crude Blue Oyster Cult, which is not a bad achievement, considering they're only a trio - Geddy Lee (vocals, bass), Alex Lifeson (guitars, vocals), and John Rutsey (drums, vocals). Lifeson is an extraordinarily adept guitarist, throwing in riffs with the speed of Ted Nugent, and Rutsey's got enough power in his wrists to keep up with him. And Lee's vocals are a knockout, at times a speeded-up Robert Plant, at others pure park rock. All their material is their own, mostly of the high energy variety - listen to them practically shoot off into space on the incredible "Need Some Love" and "Working Man" - but they can slow things down to mere express train speed if they want. A more than promising debut album. - M.O.