For anyone who remembers the infamous online campaign to get Rage Against The Machine the Christmas Number One spot - ahead of X Factor winner Joe McElderry - back in 2009, it must be strangely amusing to know that over a decade later, the band’s Tom Morello would himself appear on an X Factor alumni’s album. But if that’s not example enough of the meteoric rise of Italy’s 2021 Eurovision winners Måneskin, then who knows what is. Since being crowned a little under eighteen months ago, the quartet have been propelled to global notoriety; life as a TV talent show act well behind them, swapped instead for sold-out arena shows and a spot on the soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.
It’s upon this level of bombast that the stage for ‘Rush!’ is set; their first record sung primarily in English and the follow-up to 2021’s ‘Teatro d’ria’, this third full-length builds upon the hard-rock-meets-earwormy-pop edge of its predecessor, while adding yet more swagger. Opener ‘Own My Mind’ is made from the same anthemic recipe as the likes of ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’ and ‘Zitti E Buoni’, while the Morello-featuring ‘Gossip’ is a funky stomp of a track; the crunchy industrial beats of ‘Gasoline’ are intensely satisfying, before the soaring, lighters-aloft moment, ‘If Not For You’ suits them perfectly.
But for all their alt-pop nous and passion, ‘Rush!’ is just that bit too long. Running over seventeen tracks and almost an hour’s worth of time, it soon meanders away from their core talents - their take on shouty post-punk in ‘Kool Kids’ feels cribbed from a different album entirely - while previous singles ‘Mammamia’ and ‘Supermodel’ seem somewhat relegated to the end of the tracklisting. A huge and varied album that’s challenging to get truly invested in, one thing’s evident about ‘Rush!’; you certainly can’t doubt Måneskin’s ambition.