Reviewed Feb. 10, 1995.
One of the brightest rock debuts of the young year is “Sixteen Stone” (Trauma/Interscope) by English quartet Bush, a promising group whose thoughtful (for the most part) songwriting, solid musicianship and charismatic frontman are reminders that contemporary rock isn’t entirely bereft of truly talented prospects.
The London-based band impressed throughout this hour-plus set — its first proper L.A. show — with a highly infectious blend of wide-eyed pop, hard-guitar-based, rhythmic rock and a cool, confident swagger.
Singer Gavin Rossdale combined a sturdy and husky vocal delivery and a reflective stage style that’s one part Richard Butler and one part Eddie Vedder.
Highlights of the show included a raucous version of the band’s alternative rock hit, “Everything’s Zen,” and a twisted cover of the Clash’s “Janie Jones.”
Though the youthful band did occasionally veer into unexplained fits of musical raving — revealing the group for the still-green bunch that they are — Bush did turn in a strong perf.
Openers the Toadies powered through 45 hellacious minutes of groove-rock from their aptly tagged “Rubberneck” (Interscope) release, with super-fat bass pluckings, frenetic guitar riffs and a vocalist that managed to combine Henry Rollins and Robin Zander into a succession of guttural growls.