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BUSH STATES ITS CASE FOR ROCK.

Byline: Phillip Zonkel Staff Writer

EVERYTHING MIGHT be Zen with the title of Bush's new CD, ``Golden State'' (``I like the idea of a state of euphoria, a state of bliss,'' says frontman Gavin Rossdale), but the band got a little tarnished before reaching nirvana.

After riding high on the commercial success of the band's debut CD, 1994's 6-million-selling ``Sixteen Stone,'' and its follow-up, 1996's triple platinum ``Razorblade Suitcase,'' the British rockers released the 1999 electronica-influenced ``The Science of Things.''

Instead of hearing musical alchemy, some fans were blinded by science.

``Bush (members) were experimenting at an odd time in their career,'' says Larry Flick, senior talent editor at Billboard. ``It was a pivotal time, and instead of building gradually into a slightly different or more exciting sound, they took a sharp left and might have turned off some people.

``They also did a remix CD (1997's gold-selling ``Deconstructed'') that was considered weird by their hard-core fans; they weren't making classic-sounding Bush records.''

On ``Golden State,'' the band (drummer Robin Goodridge, 36; bassist Dave Parsons, 36; guitarist Nigel Pulsford, 37; and Rossdale, 34) put away the beakers and Bunsen burners and got out the loud, raw guitars.

On the road promoting the new disc, Bush hits the stage tonight at the Grove of Anaheim and Wednesday at Universal Amphitheatre.

``After 'The Science of Things,' everyone was intent on not doing anything but a rock record,'' says Rossdale, the group's songwriter. ``I was constantly being reminded of this. It was to be a bleep-free record.''

This time around, it's only rock 'n' roll, and that's the way the group likes it. The combustible collection of 12 full-throttle tracks bursts at the seams with aggressive guitars, relentless rhythms and Rossdale's raw vocals.

Even the critics, who initially wrote off the Pixies-influenced band as Nirvana wanna-bes, give the CD high marks.

``With the power of a live performance,'' says the New York Post, ``England's Bush comes out swinging on 'Golden State,' a record that recalls the power of their debut album, 'Sixteen Stone.' ''

Entertainment Weekly also turns up the volume. ``... the blustery Brits deliver another sturdy set of radio-ready rock.''

Says Goodridge, ``This album was all about throwing the baggage away and making great rock music that we're going to enjoy playing live, that we can be looking over at each other on stage smiling when we're doing it, watching all those heads leap up and down.''

As for fans' reactions: The disc has sold close to a million copies.

``It's been (selling) OK,'' Flick says. ``It hasn't been doing as well as anybody connected to it thinks or wants it to be doing. That kind of surprises me because it's a good record, but it's a really competitive time for that kind of music.

``Another thing that affected this record was they had the misfortune of coming out right around Sept. 11 (on Oct. 23),'' Flick says. ``Around that time, people weren't listening to aggressive, confrontational rock records.

``The only kind of rock music they wanted to hear was Creed and P.O.D. They wanted to hear how the world was going to be OK.

``Everything Zen? I don't think so.''

While some listeners may embrace a kinder, gentler rock record, Flick says Bush isn't down for the count.

``It's not make-or-break time. The next record will tell the story,'' he says. ``If they have better circumstances around the next record, things can pretty easily turn around for them. They still have a lot of fans and make good records. Bush do what they do very, very well.''

For his part, Rossdale plays down the numbers. ``I don't harbor any grudges toward anyone who has stolen our thunder. This whole tour was designed to reignite everything about Bush. All we want to do is go out and terrorize neighborhoods like we used to.''

BUSH

Where: The Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave, Anaheim, tonight; and Universal Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City on Wednesday.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

Tickets: Sold out (Anaheim) and $31 (Universal). Call (714) 712-2700 or www.thegroveofanaheim.com and (818) 622-4440 or www.hob.com

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Robin Goodridge, left, Dave Parsons, Gavin Rossdale and Nigel Pulsford, aka Bush, play Anaheim and Universal City this week, supporting their new record, ``Golden State.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 2, 2002
Words:722
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