Snakes and Arrows, Rush’s 18th studio album, came out on May 1, 2007. It was the last Rush album to be distributed by Atlantic, but the first to be produced by Nick Raskulinecz. Snake and Arrows was profoundly progressive, but it was also one of Rush’s blues-iest album, almost certainly influenced by their EP, Feedback, a 30th anniversary tribute to the bands the three members loved in the 1960s. And yet, even the blues on the album is mischievous, an inversion or twisting of blues, propelling the flow into more classical progressive directions.
The album also sees the return of Peart, the cultural critic and observer. The first track, “Far Cry,” begins with the harrowing “Pariah dogs and wandering madmen,” a commentary about the evil in society and those who would sell their own souls and become evil to destroy the other evil. Each, tellingly, is a fundamentalist, “speaking in tongues.” The track begins, musically, with a psychedelic blues feel. This was not the world we thought we would inherit, Peart laments.
It’s a far cry from the world we thought we’d inherit
It’s a far cry from the way we thought we’d share it
You can almost feel the current flowing
You can almost see the circuits blowing
Even when we feel we might actually make something right, the world spins and we find ourselves rolled over.