on August 15, 2000
Not knowing anything about this group, I was not prepared for something so good. Rock music fans should have little trouble taking this record to heart. It's intense, passionate, melodic and filled with hooks. And correct me if I'm wrong, but the lead guitar is unbelievable.
on August 7, 2000
I really think that all those involved in this project would have really had to try and make a bad record. Contributors to this album iclude members of the Prayer Chain, The lassie foundation, Honey and Fold Zandura. Throw in lead vocals from Mike Knott. How can you go wrong? Stand out tracks include the vibey "Heaven Sent" the soon to be pop classic "Crush Me" and "Good Times". The whole disc is great from start to finish. for fans of any of the above mentioned bands, fans of good songs in general.
on August 18, 2000
Ambient. Ethereal. Surreal. Moody. Emotional. Visceral. This CD is incredible. I have been impatiently waiting since I heard a rough cut of "Heaven Sent" six months ago. It was worth the wait - but I'm glad I didn't have to wait any longer. The music on this CD is to be experienced for long unbroken periods of time where complete absorption is possible. The songs take their time getting where they're going and the raw power in Andy Prickett's guitar is almost unbearable at times. I'm not talking about searing faster-than-light rockstar solos; I'm talking about pure emotion that packs a wallop. There's no way you will be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the music the first time through. I imagine it will be in my CD player for a LONG time before being replaced. Please, if you consider yourself to be fan of music, give this CD a try. You won't be sorry.
on May 17, 2013
I am always searching for good music to listen to. One day, I was listening to some old tunes from my teenage days: Poor Old Lu, Violet Burning, Prayer Chain, etc. I decided to see what was up with those bands currently. Long story short, I discovered Cush. It was 2009, and I couldn't believe that this album came out 9 years ago and slipped passed my radar. Anyway, got the CD, listened to it, and it was totally not what I expected. They sounded nothing like the 90's alternative bands that I enjoyed in my youth. After a few listens however, I loved the album. Its hard to describe the album other than it's just great Rock 'n Roll. It has a little 70's rock feel ("Good Times"), a little modern alternative feel ("Aching Heart"), sometimes atmospheric ("The Clouds are All the Same"), sometimes even jazzy ("Porpoise"), but just overall an enjoyable listen. The standout performances are Michael Knott on vocals and Andrew Prickett on guitar, both legends in the Christian alternative music scene, and they really shine on this album. Like I said, there are only glimpses of the Prayer Chain's sound, or Knott's previous project's sound, but you won't be disappointed. Unfortunately, Michael Knott left the band after just one album, and this is the only full-length they have available. Maybe one day, they will get back together. If your looking for some great music to add to your collection, I would highly recommend this album.
on March 3, 2013
If you want to make good Christian rock, you MUST listen to this album first. I encountered it years ago entirely by accident, and dozens of listens later it still isn't boring. The sound is like OK Computer-era Radiohead meets Junip, with a hint of Dispatch thrown in for good measure; at the same time, the sound is wholly Cush's own, and these comparisons are rough, not exact. The lyrics are often taken straight from the Bible (Proverbs and Isaiah, for instance) and sung in a melodic version of John McCrea's laconic groove delivery. A must-have in any well-rounded collection.
on August 5, 2000
this record is incredible. perhaps the best pop record to come out so far in 2000. fans of The Lassie Foundation, U2, anything by Mike Knott, Honey, Prayer Chain, or just really great, mellow rock and roll will LOVE this album.
on July 18, 2013
Cush's spiritual EPs were the first time the band seemed really comfortable in its own skin. And though their previous work was enjoyable, the Spiritual EPs were the first time they did anything that felt classic. (Though the members had done great things with other bands)
The trilogy of EPs are an evolution in terms of the eras that influenced them. So SP1 represents the older sounding stuff of the material. And it's an utter treat. "Sign of the Judgement" & "Run Mary Run" are the two stand-out tracks and you'll love signing along.
The EP is notable for its rustic approach mixed with 21st century touches. (Which makes it sound like I'm describing the Real Tuesday Weld, but this is a bit different.)
Each of the Spiritual EPs has a cover of a secular song. On SP1, they take Prince's tacky sounding 80s number "I would die 4 U" and turn it into a deep emotive number. Frank Lenz contributes a typewriter solo.
If you are curious, have a listen to the EP at Cush's bandcamp site: [...] . You'll be hooked instantly.
on October 17, 2015
This album is in my top 10 fave albums of all time. It’s so fantastic I don’t rightly know where to begin when reviewing it. I suppose that I’ll admit that the only likely reason I purchased this is because it is yet another Michael Knott (L.S.U., solo, Aunt Bettys, more…) project and I’m a huge Knott fan (I believe that I’ve reviewed every musical offering of his that is possible to review on Amazon, with this one being my last). But calling this “another Michael Knott project” does this a disservice because though Knott is the lead and defining vocal (and his vocals are great!) the talent on this project is ridiculous. Members of a variety of alternative Christian rock artists including performers from The Prayer Chain, Mortal/ Fold Zandura, Honey, L.S.U., and more got together to form an ever-evolving collective whose desire was to create, to explore truth in whatever musical avenue they were led into, and to be unbound by the trappings of their respective bands or the industry in general. This was the “Cush manifesto” and it did its job in generating interest. It also didn’t hurt that they were all at the top of their game when they put “The New Sound” (the unofficial title to this release) together. What we get is a rich, spectacularly produced set of songs that swim in multi-layered lush and varied guitar and synth tones, prominent and melodic and important bass guitar lines that avoid being too thick or overpowering, subtle and never over-powering drumming with just enough occasional flourish to keep the rhythms interesting, and Knott’s warm vocal croons and sways with occasional backing band fills on choruses. The overall effect is sumptuous purposeful easy alternative guitar rock. This is an unhurried album and the songs carry a lot of weight but when you pay attention the heaviness is in the effects and layers and how they are applied, not in fast crunching and pounding and strumming or blistering power chords. Subtlety is the name of this game and, oh, how well this group plays it is sometimes breathtaking.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to this release as I long ago lost count. But every time I listen to it I can’t help but to hit >>repeat on several tracks, and it always absorbs my imagination. I’m drawn to this like a moth to a flame, and I’ve been consumed by it. Several of the songs just don’t ever get old such as lead track “Heaven Sent”, the bass-driven and mysterious “The Clouds Are All the Same”, the soulful “Starry Starry Seas”, the strung-up and other-worldly “Arching Heart”, and the humbling “The Bomb Was Brighter Than the Stars”. All are magnificent in their own ways. People who are wary of “Christian” music need not fear; there is only one song (the last) that gives any hint of a particularly Christian worldview. Most of the songs find themselves in a flourish of romantic visions, longings for connection, and overcoming obstacles but the lyrics aren’t often easy to piece together. The songs feel gives one more of an idea of what it is about rather than the specifics of the lyrics (“Heaven Sent” and “The Smallest Part” perhaps being the exceptions).
While I’m not sure of all of the desert island discs I’d take if I was limited to 10 I do know of three sureties: The Violet Burning’s self-titled; Undercover’s “Balance of Power”; and Cush’s “The New Sound”. Give a listen, and you’ll see.
1) Heaven Sent ~ Phenomenal. With swirls of electric guitar gliding in and out over a strong, simple bass line and rhythm guitar the first two-plus minutes build a wistful, hopeful feel before Knott’s vocals kick in. The song is a beautiful encouragement from a father to a (heaven sent) daughter as he relays a message through her to her mother. It’s a sentiment that’s easy to get behind and the music wraps itself like a warm blanketed hug around the vocals, cascading and surging on. Certainly one of my favorite songs of all time.
2) Crush Me ~ The intro guitar jangle annoys me a little and it’s a strong part of the overall song. Decent chorus. Romantic intentions and recollections are at the heart of this song.
3) Angelica ~ Some tasty guitar leads and reverb and lite keyboard melodies create a sweet treat. Knott’s vocals are a bit higher but he manages to make it work.
4) Good Times ~ A soaring party song that takes its time. Listen closely and you’ll hear clean guitar lines played underneath a jangly tone. There are all sorts of tones on tap that work out and blend into the song. The song encourages one to take a heartbreak or discouragement and make it new by re-definition. It has a slightly Psychedelic Furs bent.
5) The Clouds Are All the Same ~ Awesome. Literally. This song wouldn’t exist without it’s bass chords; it’s like they quench a thirst. There is a slow, almost waltzing sway to the music that captivates and lifts you up and carries you on secure wings to where the clouds are all the same.
6) Starry Starry Seas ~ Soulful elegance. For a song with a frequent refrain of “dirty as we’ve become” this languid, trickling song feels like it’s got a lot of class. Sometimes it sounds like Knott is singing with a lemon wedge in the side of a cheek, there’s an ever-so-slight raspy breathiness there. I like his voice, and it’s rich on this song ably abetted by several of the other band members.
7) Arching Heart ~ Love it. There’s been a lot to interest the ear aurally up to this point but you don’t realize quite how slow most of the songs have been until you get to this rocker. With what sounds like a faux string arrangement the sound is at times reminiscent of “Joshua Tree” and “Rattle and Hum” era U2. There’s a great counterpoint banshee wail vocal that fills in throughout giving the song an otherworldly quality at moments. Lots of energy and great rises that match the lyrical play.
8) Shining Glory ~ Outside of “Heaven Sent” the intriguing, lush, romantic lyrics are my favorite on the disc. Great pacing, slow dips and soaring swells. This song is a lover’s draw for another; it could be from sweetheart to sweetheart or it could be from God’s giving to our receiving. “You’ll see my lakes like seas.”
9) The Touch ~ The playful bass gets this song started on the right note but Knott’s stretched falsetto doesn’t play well. Too bad because the music has a great midnight swirl with angular guitar lines playing over it to satisfying effect.
10) Porpoise ~ Moving into jazz territory there are horn squeaks and peeps over a somber drum two-step stutter. The lyrics have a stream-of-consciousness feel and the vocal delivery emphasizes this. The sound is depressed, like a flutter of dove wings that are having trouble lifting off. It gives the album another feel and fits snugly into the overall atmosphere but is quite distinct from the other songs as it relishes in an avant garde shruggy jazziness.
11) The Bomb Was Brighter Than the Stars ~ This humbling song is apparently an ode, a recognition, of the recently passed Gene Eugene; of his generosity, musical chops and adventurous spirit, of the faith and familiarity of the man. Eugene was a mentor in ways to some of the artists that released this album. The bright feel of the lyrics is off-set by the sad tones in the guitars. The whole has an ethereal, reflective quality and is a wonderfully creative and true to his spirit way to send off a friend, a family member, a fellow sojourner on life’s journey.
12) The Smallest Part ~ The weakest song on the album IMO and not a great way to close out such an overall fantastic musical experience. “For Christ to build this heart I’ll do, I’ll do the smallest part.” This is the only track that clearly emphasizes a particularly Christian spirituality.
on July 15, 2001
The live show blew me away. Finally a quality pop rock show! They probably should be labeled alternative, but I think it's just great rock & roll. So I saw the show... THEN the CD went in the player... WOW! Every song is great. The sound was impressively similar to the live show, the energy was there, and now all my friends know all the words :)! CUSH!