Rush! is the third album from Italian glam rockers Måneskin, but the first release by the band in, primarily, English. The band’s popularity has surged worldwide following appearances on “Eurovision” and a string of memorable hits. The latest release picks up right where the band left off, filled with high-energy classic rock, glam and lyrical envelope pushing.
The record kicks off in fiery fashion with riff-laden “Own My Mind,” “Timezone” and “Gossip,” the latter with a cameo by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morrello.
“Do you want to own my own mind?/ Do you want to know what good bad things all feel like?” vocalist Damiano David asks on the opener, hinting at the lyrical theme of the record. Musically, the opener showcases the abilities of each band member—including bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio—with sharp dynamics that tie everything together.
Despite Morello’s presence, “Gossip” sounds more like Franz Ferdinand than Rage, with some splashy and spacey wah-soaked guitar work by the guest. And mid-tempo power ballad “Timezone” fuses Queen with a Black-Parade-era My Chemical Romance aesthetic. The song rises and falls in tempo and emotion with David acting as the maestro through his lyrical delivery.
“Bla Bla Bla” opens with a bass-heavy, groovy stomp that builds into a lo-fi punk sound built around the lyrical cadence of of the title. The revenge track sees David singing of an encounter with the friend of an ex-lover to get back at them after the breakdown of a relationship. It’s bouncy, fun and a little dangerous. “Baby Said,” meanwhile, is a dance rocker built on the electricity of Raggi’s vibrant licks. The rhythm section of de Angelis and Torchio holds the infectious grove in lockstep.
“I’m not afraid of you being vulgar/ But why are you so vicious ?” David asks before exploding into the explosive chorus.
“Gasoline” again offers the familiar bass drum stomp that builds the energy of many Måneskin songs, but here de Angelis tunes her bass down, down, down with a low sludgy rumble under David’s opening lyrics.
“How are you sleeping at night?/ How do you close both your eyes?/ Living with all of those lies on your hands,” David sings before a chorus of voices join in as the song crescendos.
Måneskin has been performing the track on tour already, and for good reason. “Gasoline” has the sort of energy that feels made for the stage. The band particularly excels with upbeat hard rock with an air of mystery and darkness to it, and that’s all on full display here. Its dynamics shine in the heavy start-and-stop instrumental outro.
Sex, drugs and rock and roll anthem “Feel” has a White Stripes garage rock feel to it. The singalong track features some of David’s most expressive vocals and a solid cohesion between Raggi’s riffs and Torchio’s rhythms.
Rather than lose energy, the album gains steam as it progresses. The band’s firing on all cylinders on “Don’t Wanna Sleep,” a grove-heavy dance rocker soaked in infectious guitar licks. The track has a quick but memorable blistering guitar solo for Raggi. On record, Måneskin tends to dial in the arrangements, as opposed to the extended virtuosic jams fans might see in concert—a choice that ultimately makes for a more cohesive and listenable record.
“Kool Kids,” which speaks to not trying to fit into a box but is not an Echosmith cover, is another concert staple. The song takes on a very different personality from the rest of the record. It’s more of a glam punk rocker with its call-and-response shouted chorus.
One of the few moments of calm arrives on “If Not For You,” a guitar-driven ballad that’s also one of the best showcases of David’s raw vocal prowess. The track is an homage to the vocalists who influenced David along the way, like Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.
“All those crowds/ All the music/ Would just fade out,” David sings.
The energy picks right back up on “Read Your Diary,” a stadium rocker driven by de Angelis’ bouncy opening riff. Måneskin then ventures back to its Italian language rock origins with “Mark Chapman,” presumably about John Lennon’s murderer. The song is upbeat, driving and offers more impressive guitar work by Raggi, especially on its bluesy solo.
On percussive riff rocker “La Fine,” David impressively spits in a wordy lyrical cadence. Even though it’s also in Italian, there’s a universality to it that helps with the translation. With the Italian songs grouped together, this block feels like a bonus EP tacked on to the rest of the album, but it stays cohesive regardless of the language.
Soaring power ballad “Il Dono Della Vita” gives us one of the album’s finest moments, exuding urgency alongside the band’s finest musicianship. Raggi’s fretwork is blisteringly quick here. Just when it reaches its most chaotic point, the music fades to David’s solemn whispered lyrics.
The album then concludes with a trio of previously released songs in”Mammamia,” “Supermodel” and “The Loneliest.” Rush! shows a band squarely on an upward trajectory across the globe.
Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.
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