"Bushwhack" (Self-produced; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Progressive metal and progressive rock are tricky styles in my book and by "tricky" I mean they are difficult to pull off. However, that's as it should be because both styles tend to require a great deal of skill so it's okay for us listeners to have a high standard.

"In Solitude," the opening intro of Bushwhack's self-titled CD, for some reason reminded me of Harry Potter movie music. After that, almost every song has the same shortcoming. Picture yourself floating up in a hot air balloon, but you have no control over where it's going. It might be pretty for a little while, but then you realize it's not going anywhere and it's no longer very pleasant.

The bulk of this album is kind of like that. Bushwhack know how to play their instruments, but everything just kind of floats along with very little rhyme or reason. They avoid being self-indulgent, but still it's just passage after passage that just sort of meanders around until the time is up.

I hear a huge dose of Dream Theater here and smaller doses of Rush, early Queensryche and Crimson Glory. However, all of those bands (to various extents) knew when to zig and when to zag and how to keep the flow of the music interesting. Bushwhack kind of missed out on that part of the lesson even though they have some technical skills. But all the technical skills in the world won't save an album if it's not arranged decently.

I liked some of the tones and the production, but "Bushwhack" feels like video game music to some extent. It was just kind of going in a big loop and, even though it was kind of showy, it still seemed like background music because it lacked the hooks that it sorely needed. When all was said and done this album felt rather flat despite the playing ability of the musicians and, frankly, their talent is just wasted with this approach.

The good news is that these guys are really young so they still have time to figure it out and I hope ... and fully expect ... they will.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/bushwhack

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400 .