Thursday, February 10, 2011

PUSHKING: "The World As We Love It"

Rating: 8/10

Label: Ear Music 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

Sometimes you really, really want to like an album before you’ve even played it, and as soon as I eyeballed the back of this epic release from Russia’s Pusking, I so wanted it to be good, and breathed a sigh of relief when my worries were dissipated straight away. You see, “The World As We Love It” is a compilation of 18 Pushking tracks from their 15 year plus career. If you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry - they’ve been pretty much a Russia only exclusive, although apparently they do well there. The reason you may have heard of them this year is because the album has an absolutely stellar cast, as they band have roped in a veritable who’s who of rock music to help re record their songs in English.

Take a deep breath, because on this album you will find Billy Gibbons, Nuno Bettencourt, Alice Cooper, John Lawton, Steve Stevens, Paul Stanley, Stevie Salas, Graham Bonnet, Glenn Hughes, Jeff Scott Soto, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Martin, Udo Dirkschneider, Dan McCafferty, Joe Lynn Turner and Jorn Lande, and probably a few I’ve missed. Interested now?

Simply put, it’s an astounding compliment to the band that their songs live up to the talent involved. It’s all pretty much old school rock stuff, your bog standard heavy rock with a big helping of melody on the side, but when the likes of Glenn Hughes and Graham Bonnet are singing the songs they really come alive. Hughes even gets paired up with Black Country Communion bandmate Joe Bonamassa for the excellent “Tonight”. Jeff Scott Soto is given a bit of a bum deal with “I Believe”, a meandering tune that doesn’t really give him much to do, whereas Jorn Lande grabs you by the balls with “Heroin”, a track that could have been written just for him. Pushking themselves slip in and out unannounced and unnoticed amongst the cavalcade of star names, content to do the donkey work and let the songs shine.

Not since “Hear n Aid” have so many high quality musicians from the rock world been part of such a cool product. With 18 songs, it can be a little hard to digest all at once, but the variety in the players helps this a lot, and you will find yourself checking the CD booklet constantly to see just who you are listening to. The whole thing is a wonderful coming together of musicians, with the added bonus of some genuinely great tracks.



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