Christian Music That Doesn’t Suck # 6

Today’s will be short.  CUSH! CUSH!I remember when Cush got announced.  Fans went nuts.  Members of the Prayer Chain and Michael Knott working together.  Sounded like one of those cool super group things.  Christian music “super groups” weren’t especially common.  Outside of the Lost Dogs, it was pretty uncommon.

The thing about Cush though?  It was not meant to be a “super group” at all.  Rather it was meant to be a loose and fluid collection of artists who would come and go.  This kind of sailed passed the Mike Knott fans.

Those fans were thrilled when we got a taste of Cush, a song called Heaven Sent. It was a touching and moody song, a husband pleading with his wife for understanding through their child.  It was a highly popular theory that the song was a window into Knott’s dissolving marriage.  It got fans anticipating a full CD.  Advertised as a new sound for the new decade, Cush released their self titled CD to an annxious crowd.  And they delivered.  I don’t know how “new” I thought the sound was, but it was a nice dreamy blend of various alt rock styles.  There were upbeat rock tunes, but nothing overly heavy.  The lyrics were upbeat and hopeful, lacking the darker edge both the Prayer Chain and Knott’s separate works.  There were songs about faith (such as the Smallest Part) and cheerful love songs (Angelica).

When they released the followup Brown EP… well, fans (specifically Knott heads) were startled.  Knott appeared nowhere at the front.  The vocals were provided by another singer. The idea of Cush, as I mentioned was a revolving one.  The Manifesto warned of this but the fans had a negative reaction, being a bit unfair to the CD (and I kind of got the impression when I interviewed Mike Knott at the time of the first CD that he was not really aware of it more than any of the fans).  The goal of it all was to take the ego out of the art.

This CD was completely different, as the opening track Halo Sounds was a raucous track, which gave just a hint of what was to come.  Where as the first CD was full of long six to eight minute dreamy alt pop, the EP was full of short and punchy rock and roll tracks.  And it was a good collection of songs.  Only the Brightest Light really retained the sound of the previous effort.

Cush then released the Spiritual EP, Vol 1.  It was not like any of the prior efforts.  The songs were old school styled spirituals with an old school gospel blues sound.  They were excitingly fresh originals, and the CD featured a cool cover of Prince’s I Would Die 4 U.  The vocalists were never identified, as if to mention who any of the performers would detract from the spiritual tracks.  We did not really hear from the band for awhile.  But later they released the follow up Spiritual EP Vol 2.  It followed in the same vein and style of the previous disc (right down to a cover tune-Jesus and Mary Chain’s God Help Me).

The one other disc was a live/b-sides disc that contained various versions of Cush songs (mostly as performed by the crew with Mike Knott at the lead).  Cush has announced that they are working on a new CD this year.  As I mentioned, I interviewed Knott, and other members of Cush for 7Ball magazine back around 2000.  You can see the Cush Manifesto at that link.

3 thoughts on “Christian Music That Doesn’t Suck # 6 Leave a comment

  1. The S/T is golden and while everything else made by the Cush is also good, nothing has been as good as the first album. I know that the Brown EP is a “tribute” of sorts to Knott. I really hope the fine folks at Northern get around to making another full-length album soon…I’ve heard rumours that one of the Bozemans might be the new singer…

  2. check out cushkuxh.org for some additional backstory that’s just been added to some of the lyrics entries. And the new SP3 release is perhaps some of their best work!

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