Rushil’s website says he grew up with music. “Rushil cherished being at the center [sic] of all the creativity”, we’re told. He goes on to say that as a grown-up performer, “nothing was more important than the experience I got from playing live. The mind struggles to ever totally be present at any given time; playing live allows for nothing less than total immersion”. That’s great, isn’t it? Scientists and philosophers still don’t really understand why music can feel so personally special, so soul-scrapingly intimate, beyond even other art forms, and it’s wonderful that Rushil loves his music. Nothing can take that away from him; like the charity money on Bullseye, that’s safe.
Luckily. Because from outside the “center of creativity”, this record brings no comfort whatsoever, and is more likely to inspire the primary symptoms of gastric flu, dragging itself from the mire of stodgy faceless rock to the stinking nadir of passive-aggressive wheedling. There are points on this record where the music gets away with simply being blandly generic and vapid: ‘Here And There’ throws its big, yearning chorus over an acoustic intro with all the perfectly controlled abandon of an advert for sugar-free beverages full of slo-mo bungee jumps, and other more introspective moments could soundtrack the sort of sidebar ad for toothpaste or something in which friendship is defined by fannying about on a twilit beach that you click by mistake and can’t shut up for eight minutes. At other times, sadly, the album is nowhere near as good as this.
‘Three’ is an ugly, lachrymose slur over rustily distorted guitar and thumping toms, that sounds like a maudlin constipated drunk moaning his way over the soundtrack to a cut-budget TV western, and ‘No Way Out’ is dollop of over-egged emotive keening, rather like Bryan Adams’ ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’, with all the tune liposucked out and left to quiver in a self-pitying heap in the clinical waste bin. The title track is essentially the same, but has the advantage of being 39 seconds shorter. And, what’s this? We’re only six bloody tracks in, there’s still the melody-free cross between Chad Kroeger and Semisonic called ‘Never See The Light’ to go; we’re nowhere near the chicken-in-a-bucket Counting Crows of ‘Sometimes’, let alone the fading adenoidal caterwaul of ‘E22′ that marks the finish line.
Rushil is obviously a bright lad – he’s reading law at Oxford, which is no intellectual holiday – but this record just goes to show that academic and artistic intelligence are entirely separate entities. Then again, what was it he said? “The mind struggles to ever totally be present at any given time”. Ah, perhaps that explains it; maybe he made this record whilst under hypnosis, or veterinary sedatives; maybe he was making nine albums simultaneously, each of which might contain enough material to build a slightly passable gestalt. Or maybe it’s just utter rubbish. Yes, the simplest option is probably the best – remember Occam’s Razor? And can we use it on our ears when you’re done with it, please?
Find out more, download the album and watch a video at Rushil’s website.