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Monday, April 4, 2011

Pushking – The World As We Love It album review

Pushking – The World As We Love It album review
Released on: Armoury Records through Eagle Rock. Release Date: Available now

The guys in Russian rockers Pushking must be the envy of so many bands out there, to have had such an array of star guests contribute to this album. It's also an album that I know the band had been waiting a long time to finally get released. I first heard about the project in the first quarter of last year, that it was done, but getting the final product out and through whoever, seemed to be the next issue. Why? Who knows?!

I would’ve thought with the list of people involved, labels from everywhere would’ve been looking to get their hands on this, especially with the band hailing from Russia and the fact of how intriguing that is too.
Also that they managed to get all these players involved with the project in the first place.
There must be someone rich somewhere behind all of this!?!

I mean, just read this guest list: Paul Stanley, Billy Gibbons, Alice Cooper, Glenn Hughes, Steve Lukather, Joe Lynn Turner, Eric Martin, Graham Bonnet, Jeff Scott Soto, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai and the list goes on, Jorn Lande, Nuno Bettencourt, Dan McCafferty, John Lawton, Udo Dirkschneider, Steve Stevens, Eric Ragno and Keri Kelli! Unreal, huh?!
All that said, if I was playing in Pushking and was the lead singer or lead guitarist, I might be tempted to say, ‘What am I doing on here?!’ In truth though, none of the Pushking band is left out on this release and they all contribute with great style, their own input.

The album opens with 'Intro' and the scream of, ‘The World is Willing ….,’ before kicking into the Billy Gibbons sung ‘Nightrider.’ I’d even say Glenn Hughes threw in some vocals there too.
It really rocks, even if it does remind me of Autograph’s ’19 and Non Stop.’
What a full sound, it’s great!

Then ‘It’ll be OK,’ is next with Gibbons here again and Nuno Bettencourt ripping out some nice guitar. Gibbons vocal sounds a little strange at times, although to be honest, since I’ve never heard Pushking before, I’m guessing Konstantin ‘Koha’ Shustarev is probably sharing all lead vocals across the album.
It’s a laid back grooving track, similarities echo again to something else, but I’ll leave it there!

Alice Cooper takes ‘Troubled Love’ next and this a great track! I love the piano backing that kind of sounds a little Mott The Hoople like, some really nice guitar work from Keri Kelli too.
This is really catchy and you will be singing along, no doubt!

‘Stranger’s Song’ features John Lawton on vocals next and Steve Stevens on guitars and it’s one of those emotional power ballad type tracks and very good too. Outstanding playing by Stevens!

Ready for a track that Paul Stanley makes sound like it’s the latest Kiss single! ‘Cut The Wire’ features Steve Stevens again on guitar here. Mid paced punchy rocker, that then picks up as it’s ending.
I have to say that up to this point I’ve been listening to what the guest players are doing without taking in the band enough and without doubt, these guys sound like such fully seasoned musicians. Very classy indeed!

Konstantin ‘Koha’ Shustarev finally gets to take the lead vocals alone on ‘My Reflections (After seeing Schindler’s List)’ and the guest here is Steve Vai, whose haunting guitar work, works well with the moving song, which has a Russian – I believe – sung chorus.

‘God Made Us Free’ next features Graham Bonnet on lead vocals and it almost has some hints of the (Rolling) Stones about it.
Kind of poppy, almost indie sounding at times, but it grooves.

Ready for some Glenn Hughes then? He takes the lead on ‘Why Don’t You?’ It’s really simply a soulful acoustic number.

Jeff Scott Soto, one of the most underrated singers in rock is next on ‘I Believe’ with a haunting vocal, on a chug along pop rocker, almost in the vein of say Whitesnake. Great stuff, simple and straightforward!

Wow! I thought this was Gary Moore (RIP) right away, but no, it’s Joe Bonamassa on guitars and Glenn Hughes sharing lead vocals with ‘Koha’ on ‘Tonight’ and it’s a beautifully laid back piece.
Classy blues work.

Glenn Hughes sticks around some more on ‘Private Own’ next and Matt Filippini features on guitars, it also features bass from Konstantin Kokorin, who the track is dedicated to. It’s a kind of funky rocker as well suits Hughes’ style.

‘Open Letter To God,’ features Eric Martin next again alongside ‘Koha’ and it’s power ballad territory, with some great guitar work from – I’m guessing – Dmitriy ‘Mitya’ Losev and some nice orchestration here too.

Oh boy, you ready for Udo Dirkschneider?! He really sounds like a cross between Brian Johnson and how Ian Gillan would sing in his old Gillan days on next track ‘Nature’s Child,’ quite a scary effect! Great guitar work again from Dmitriy ‘Mitya’ Losev.

‘I Love You’ features Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty and it’s almost ‘Love Hurts’ revisited in places.
A soulful ballad …

Joe Lynn Turner up next on ‘Head Shooter,’ which is a slow stomp along steady rocker, which is OK, but really nothing really special, except for the guitar work.

‘Heroin’ allows Jorn Lande the chance to shine here, that starts as a blues rocker that then picks up almost halfway through.
Some great almost (Michael) Schenker like guitar work from Dmitriy ‘Mitya’ Losev.

Dan McCafferty returns for ‘My Simple Song’ which is another ballad style track, I guess his soulful howls suit the style.

The last track ‘Kukarracha’ gives many of the vocalists all a chance to sing along together and you can guess each one yourself, as they’re so distinctive and Steve Lukather helps out on guitar here. It’s a fun grooving closer.

Overall, I thought the whole album was pretty average at first but it’s grown and it’s really not a bad project at all.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Full tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Nightrider
3. It'll Be OK
4. Troubled Love
5. Stranger's Song
6. Cut The Wire
7. My Reflections After Seeing The "Schindler's List" Movie
8. God Made Us Free
9. Why Don't You?
10. I Believe
11. Tonight
12. Private Own
13. Open Letter To God
14. Nature's Child
15. I Love You
16. Head Shooter
17. Heroin
18. My Simple Song
19. Kukarracha

The band are:
Konstantin "Koha" Shustarev - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Andrey "Drunia" Kruglov - Drums
Dmitriy "Mitya" Losev - Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Slide
Roman Nevelev - Bass
Oleg "Ivanich" Bondaletov - Keyboards, Hohner Clavinet
Andrey Deykov - Sound Engineer

Full guest list:
Paul Stanley - Vocals (6, 19)
Billy F. Gibbons - Vocals (2, 3), Guitar (2)
Alice Cooper - Vocals (4)
Steve Vai - Guitar (7)
Glenn Hughes - Vocals (9, 11, 12, 19)
Jorn Lande - Vocals (17)
Joe Bonamassa - Guitar (11)
Steve Stevens - Guitar (5)
Nuno Bettencourt - Guitar (3)
John Lawton - Vocals (5)
Keri Kelli - Guitar (4)
Jeff Scott Soto - Vocals (10)
Eric Martin - Vocals (13)
Steve Lukather - Guitar (19)
Matt Filippini - Guitar (12)
Dan McCafferty - Vocals (15, 18)
Graham Bonnet - Vocals (8)
Joe Lynn Turner - Vocals (16)
Udo Dirkschneider - Vocals (14)
Stevie Salas - Guitar (6)

Other guests:
Eric Ragno - B3 Organ, Piano
Al Perkins - Dobro
Alex De Rosso - Guitar
Tony Paoletta - Steel
Konstantin Koleshonok - Sax
Fabrizio Grossi - Bass
Anton Vishnyakov - Trombone
ILiya Sergeenko - Trumpet
Vladimir Molodtsov - Pipe
Konstantin Kokorin - Bass (12)

Official Band website:

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