Reviewed by: Sieto Kooijker
The first time I heard of Cush was in 2000 when their debut album was released. A year later I was able to catch them live at Flevo Festival. I would not call Cush a band. I’d rather call it a project, a group of musicians from bands like The Prayer Chain, LSU, Honey, Fold Zandura, Duraluxe, Bloomsday, The Lassie Foundation, Adam Again, Starflyer 59, The Violet Burning, and The Choir. Cush has always wanted to let the music and words speak for themselves.
That is exactly what seemed to be the right input for the Spiritual trilogy. In early 2003 Cush recorded an EP called Spiritual. Cush was inspired by old hymns and the whole youth-group-sing along type of worship. In June 2003 Spiritual EP Volume 2 was released. It had a total different sound. It’s a rootsy blues-rock oriented EP with lots of harmony vocals.
Finally in 2013 the trilogy was completed with the new Album SP3, which stands for Spiritual volume 3. Cush released the album as a limited download in 2013. At the end of May 2014 a physical release finally saw it’s daylight. Northern Records chose not to release it on CD, but to print it on vinyl and make it available as a digital download.
The opening track “The Gift Of Hope And Fear” reminds me of The Prayer Chain’s opening track on Mercury. It’s a track that really sets the mood of the album. There is so much ambiance. It’s an atmosphere that won’t leave the album. After this gorgeous intro, the song transforms into a beautiful song that celebrates the birth and sacrifice of Jesus for us.
“Hands Of Fire” is a mellow shoegazer. The track is almost like a modern psalm. It has elements of surrender, God’s splendor and a longing for more of God. “All My eyes” is probably the most accessible song on the album. There is a nice rocking flow in the song and I love the addition of hand claps.
“The Drug That You Can Never Take” is a nice mellow dreamy pop song. It drags you in. It almost forces you to close your eyes and feel the emotion. It’s a true gem on this record.
“For The First Time” is a very interesting track. There is no singing in this song. We hear a kid quoting lyrics from two U2 songs. Most of the lyrics are from “For The First Time”, from the album Zooropa. However there are also a few verses from Achtung Baby’s “Until The End Of The World”. Both lyrics fit very well together. The album finishes with two more tracks. The mellow shoegazer Nothing For You Here is a personal reflection on the empty grave, the day Christ rose from the dead. The final track is called Of Ages and has like the first track a real epic Prayer Chain feel to it. Again a well crafted song that builds up the atmosphere. The song arrives at a climax around the 3 minute mark. Cush goes full throttle. Pounding drums, beautiful layered crashing guitars and the beautiful details of some backing vocals make this over 8 minute song a real masterpiece.
SP3 is pure poetry, it’s pure gold, it’s the best Cush has ever created. Grab this vinyl while you can at the Northern Records store!