Rush's new song, 'BU2B,' reveals a lot about the band's plans for their upcoming album 'Clockwork Angels,' and it does so very loudly.

When the Canadian trio launched their tour last year with a full album spotlight on the band's classic 'Moving Pictures' LP, it might have seemed to some that the veteran rockers had finally succumbed to the predictable nostalgia road trip already traveled by so many of their fellow rock contemporaries.

But as is always the case with Rush, there was a twist – the band also used the tour to pull back the covers on a pair of new songs to preview 'Clockwork Angels,' their currently in-progress 19th studio album. According to longtime Rush drummer and principal lyricist Neil Peart, the songs, 'BU2B' and 'Caravan,' are the first two installments in what will be an “extended album-length story.” (Around here, we've been known to call these things “concept albums.”)

'BU2B' immediately addresses the muddy sonics of their previous album 'Snakes and Arrows,' putting the band back on a more solid plane sonically. Perhaps unexpectedly, 'BU2B' also gives Rush fans a taste of the heaviest material heard from the band in years. The jagged guitar intro from guitarist Alex Lifeson sets an immediate tone. It's paired with an incredibly emphatic vocal from longtime vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee, that often feels more spat out than sung. Never one to shy away from social commentary, the lyrics by Peart target the overall hypocrisy of religion with pointed lyrics that tell of the “Watchmaker” who “Loves us all to death” as we “Buy what we're being sold.”

For those of us who wonder where it's all headed, 'BU2B' reveals that “Some will be rewarded while the devil takes the rest,” with a crushing backbeat from Peart propelling the band along at near-warp speed throughout.

Regardless of what you think of their politics, 'BU2B' is a solid first taste of 'Clockwork Angels,' an album that the band expects to finish after their current tour wraps up later this summer. The lyrics are typically complex, which should come as no surprise from this so-called “thinking man's band.” But at the same time, this is one of the most clear-cut and lyrically direct songs we've heard from Rush in quite some time. Longtime fans will be pleased with the heavier direction the band appears to be headed with this material


Listen to Rush, 'BU2B'

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