Rushus - Nine

9 songs
67:48 minutes


The album title is a reference to the number of tracks on this CD, and does not mean that Rushus from Moscow have already released as many albums. The instrumental three-piece which comes from a varied background (gothic, post hardcore, world fusion, post punk and jazz) offers on its debut mostly long meandering instrumentals performed on electric guitar, bass and acoustic percussion. The absence of a classical drum kit makes for a very unusual listening experience. Ilya Lipkin dominates the sound with his lyrical guitar playing, providing also the atmospheric keyboard backings. Vladimir Nikulin bass playing doesn’t hide its jazz roots and sets quite warm accents throughout the album. Evgeiy Tkacher handles the congas and bongos, and it is here where the band veers into very un-rock territories.

Basically you would expect something rather driving, with the instruments involved, but Rushus rather try to play ambient music with classical rock instruments and percussion. The idea itself is laudable enough, but ultimately the individual songs lack the spaciness that synthesizers can provide, and there’s also not enough happening to make this good hour worthwhile for jazz or prog aficionados. Nine is nice enough to serve as background music, but trying to dive deeper into its secrets may demand the help of mind altering substances.

The talent of the musicians involved is undeniable. If Rushus decided to hire a drummer and worked on streamlining their material, they might come up with something truly original. Their debut Nine, despite some magical moments, fails to enthral as the featured material feels more like aimless improvisations than well designed compositions.

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