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For fans of Bush, you will find the skeleton of that band within Institute, but Rossdale has done some tweaking, often taking things in a new, experimental and heavier direction. Witness a song like 'When Animals Attack' or 'Bullet-Proof Skin'; songs like this rage harder, heavier, have more dissonance and are more ferocious than anything in Bush's catalogue. Of immediate notice is that "Distort Yourself" seems like the work of a collaberation more than it does of a dictator. In Bush, it seemed like whatever Rossdale said was law, but here the other instruments have more of a role. 'Boom Box', 'Save The Robots', 'Wasteland', and to an extent, 'Secrets and Lies' are all at their core driven by bass.
However, some of this new experimenting leads to a problem which appears more and more evident as "Distort Yourself" plays on; the album suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. What exactly is Rossdale going for here? A heavier rock band? A more poppy direction? A band that works in loose grooves? Claims can be made for all of these, often within the same song. Sometimes this can work in a band (see the Mars Volta), but Institute doesn't really pull it off. 'Boom Box' glides along with a great, loose verse with a fantastic melody before the punkish chorus comes in and wrecks it. I think half of the blame can be placed on producer Paige Hamilton and guitarist Chris Traynor, both of Helmet fame.Read more ›
First off, the fact that they put the two strongest and most dynamic songs ("Bullet-Proof Skin" and "When Animals Attack") at the front of the album doesn't exactly do them any favors. This strong opening primes us up for something really special, as these are very unique and exciting songs. Sadly, what follows is what I knew the album would be all along: Gavin Rossdale fronting Helmet. Honestly, that's all it sounds like, and the minute "Come On Over" kicks in, you'll know it. Not to say the rest of the album isn't worth hearing. Despite some really bad lyrics -- "Deep fried in the heat of your love"(?) -- there are some interesting and catchy musical ideas. To me, the one song that stands out is the unusually diverse "Boom Box." Again, the lyrics aren't much to brag about, but musically, it is very entertaining. The production, along with the mixing, is quite crisp when you consider Hamilton's typical, grittier work. The sound is very far removed from that of Bush, in my opinion, so if you came as a fan of that group, be prepared for something different.
Right now seems to be the time for 90's groups that have somewhat faded to re-emerge.Read more ›
A very brilliant peace of work . I was sceptical because of Bush's last CD . Gavin's lyrics have great meaning, powerful ,and thought provoking . This band is much better than Bush , they play together as a whole package . I feel that is what bush was missing . The tracks get better as the CD progresses which is a nice change .
If you were down with Gavins voice or Bush buy this . Its just nice that some bands make music this good , instead of going with the flow and joining the radio crowd for the money . The album cover also rocks. Its the universe and nothings free.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a hardcode Bush fan and Gavin Rossdale rocks in this band as well!Published 7 months ago by Steven
I love this album so much!! From Bullet Proof Skin to Ambulances the songs are amazing. I love this venture by Gavin Rossdale :)Published on June 29, 2013 by rhea
On this CD, Institute - also known as Gavin Rossdale's new band - played rather monotonous hard rock. Read morePublished on December 29, 2011 by Arrogance Breeds in Isolation
If you are open to hard and heavy side of rock music and don't mind the massive bass lines and crushing drums you might want to look into this project put together by Gavin... Read morePublished on November 30, 2009 by Deven Gadula
Nothing amazing, definitely not Bush, but solid. It's still Gavin Rossdale so it can't be that bad.Published on July 10, 2009 by Sean Jones
This is definately not Bush and it is not Helmet. However, it is brilliant. Gavin Rossdale has always pushed the envelope when it came to lyrics, and Institute's debut is no... Read morePublished on June 24, 2008 by monks
I don't this very often and there is a lot that can be said but I will keep it to the point. Institute has a different sound but Gavin has not left bush out of the lyrics. Read morePublished on December 2, 2007 by Kevin Kettle