2 out of 5
Label: Brutal Panda
Produced by: Dave Downham
The four ladies of Full Bush are surely talented as heck, and bring undeniable energy to their tracks, and passion to the lyrics, and are willing to cross back and forth from party band to serious rockers and everything inbetween, perhaps due to the all-hands-on approach, which trades off vocal and songwriting duties, song by song.
…Unfortunately, when you’re a hodgepodge of styles and influences, and allow those to express themselves quite individually, it’s hard to make a cohesive album. Which is the overall knock against these nine tracks, which nib from 90s / 00s Kill Rock Stars indie and mainstream grunge – Sleater-Kinney, Hole – and even some more mainstream alterna-rock from those times, but never quite congealing into a Full Bush “sound.” They come across as shtick almost; a cover act; which is entirely unfair, because almost every song has some moments where the group kinda takes over and starts to sound like they’re playing something original, and at those points – this becomes a band you want to root for.
Except those are just moments. While, as mentioned, the skill and energy here is undeniable, the need to hit some type of quota of thrash and pop nods and etc. seem to hold the group back a bit, not only musically, but lyrically as well: sometimes brusque, sometimes more poetic (depending on the songwriter, I’d presume), while I’ve often quipped that a band’s not required to be one set thing, trying to be all things – funny, sincere, sober, cock-rock, etc. – can be a feint for a lack of identity. And that plagues this album.
But: Full Bush would absolutely rock live, of that I have no doubt, and there’s certainly enough promise here to merit keeping an eye on them. (Indeed, we’d see a huge step forward on their following release, Movie Night.)