The Rushes - Corners EP

Bill Cummings 14/04/2008

Rating: 1/5

Ever wondered what the syrupy MOR piano driven rock of The Fray fronted by someone desperately trying to ape David Grohl's roar would sound like? Nah me neither. But London (Via Birmingham and Liverpool) based four piece the Rushes are that nightmarish vision.

Never have the phrases “driving melodic rock” struck such fear in my heart. Eponymous opener Corners is typical mid paced, disgustingly cosy, attempt at “anthemic rock.” Sure, it chirps in all the right places, but we've heard this dirge a million times before on another “half hour megamix” on Virgin. It's the kind of fish punching rock that you can imagine some David Brent character moshing to when it comes on the radio. Musically weak, the guitars and rhythm sound like background music the contrived vocals, are so syrupy, so Americanised you wonder whether vocalist Gerard O'Connell was weaned on a diet of MTV, sounding as he does like a poor man's Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, which isn't a compliment.

Elsewhere, there's clichés a plenty with the vaguely emotional rock of “Will You Won't You?” lyrically like some overly earnest conversation between boyfriend and girlfriend. Sadly it makes me think of the crime against music that was Toploader's “Dancing in the Moonlight”more than anything deep and meaningful (“I was breathless for you/ Dancing in the shadows/ You showed me your dark side/ Reflected my mood.”). In fact, each track sounds so similar and so repetitively beating a rock/pop formula to death, that you're crying out for at least a vague change in pace, or maybe just a new idea or two before very long. In fairness it comes with final track “Stop It,” a “pleasant” polished piece of floaty balladry, which tells me The Rushes have clearly heard a few Sting records.

Tunes that are so banal, so middle of the road, so derivative, so sanitised and over produced that you're wondering how such young men could make such old music serving no purpose other than to bring to mind the horrors of Christian Rock. The Rushes converge onto the same shit soaked ground of throwaway nonsense pop monkeys Scouting For Girls, but worse than that, they have the faint whiff of seriousness about them. In that way they mirror the work of Fallout Boy pompous, feel-my-pain commercial pop with nothing to say, and tunes of little worth. By the end of this EP you're praying that someone will come and cave your head in with a sledge hammer so you can FEEL SOMETHING, ANYTHING, instead of this sickly sweet feeling stuck at the back of your throat. Lifeless, boring, OC soundtrack music for people who don't know any better.