Before Neil Peart joined, before Rush gained notoriety as a respectable progressive rock band, they were a becoming Led Zeppelin-esque band that rocked hard. And they rocked hard well. Former drummer John Rutsey was no Peart, but it doesn't matter. This is rock n' roll, with no trace of the progressive ambition the band would later embrace with Peart's vision.
So what does it offer? Sleek guitar licks, melodic and lyrical hooks, and energetic arrangements and performances. Some of the lyrics are embarrassingly banal at times, and in many ways the album is disappointingly straightforward, but what the album lacks in instrumental pyrotechnics and progressive factors, it makes up for it with the infectious exuberance of a band's first album. Even at this first step of their career, the band shows high spirits and a good knack for songwriting.
The band would quickly change for the better with the departure of Rutsey and the arrival of Peart. Although many dismiss this album as the forgettable debut, I can't help but be amused by its simple charm. It does nothing to show how they were destined for greatness, but the music is good. Isn't that what matters?
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