Few words could sum up the whirlwind past year in the life of Italian glam rockers Måneskin as well as RUSH!, which also happens to be their perfectly-titled third album (out Jan. 20). Inside the massive 17-song release lives all the pent-up thrill and abandon that has made the quartet (singer Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio) the buzziest band in rock over the course of the past 12 months.
After winning the behemoth international songwriting competition Eurovision in 2021, the band went on the fast track becoming overnight global rock ambassadors. In the States that included a needle-moving moment at Lollapalooza, placement on the ELVIS soundtrack, appearances on Saturday Night Live and a much-talked about MTV VMAs performance that had the band and their growing denizen of fans decrying censorship. Plus, awards galore, from the Billboard Music Awards to the Brit Awards and the L.A. Times hailing them “America’s New Favorite Rock Band,” not to mention nabbing their first Grammy for Best New Rock Artist at this year’s ceremony (airing in February).
RUSH! not only proves the band lives up to the hype but can continue to still experiment with their sound and keep their hard-won identity that harkens back to a gilded time in rock that made gods out of instrumental disciples and unsaintly personalities. Måneskin are not only what’s right with rock in 2023, but they are setting a pathway forward for the genre. Here are seven things rock fans will love about their new album.
Tom Morello Has a Guest Spot
After Iggy Pop declared Måneskin to be a “really strong band” and collaborated with the Italians on a reworked version of single “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” it seems Tom Morello wanted in on the ground floor of the rising stars, too. The guitarist adds his impeccable stringed zing on the new single “Gossip” (released Jan. 13) that isn’t a far cry from his Audioslave solos and pairs perfectly with Raggi’s technical prowess. Coupled with a catchy earworm chorus that is spilling over with bohemian flair, the matchup in “Gossip” is just offbeat enough to perk up ears and hopefully nab the band more offers in the future.
The first 30 seconds of track “Gasoline” opens with an extended chunky bass riff courtesy of Victoria De Angelis who uses the prime feature spot to her advantage, bringing a vibrating dark edge to the track that the band first introduced last year in homage to the people of Ukraine. Those who saw the band’s headlining Loud Kids tour last year got a taste of the ferocious bite this song has live, and it exists on that level on record too, quickly becoming one of the most passionate songs on the album.
They Hold on to That Rule Breaking Confidence
To put it simply, Måneskin doesn’t give a shit about breaking the oath that comes with being a rock band. They swerve through lyrics in Italian and English while never losing a listener’s attention, they partner with big fashion houses rather than relying on any rough-hewn uniform, they win victories against big wigs such as those at MTV (all but forcing the network to re-release an uncensored version of their risqué appearance at the VMAs last year).
On their first headlining tour last fall, they were already billing it an “evening with” and played songs twice in the setlist. This beautiful abandon continues on RUSH! The band logs in a boundary-pushing 17 songs — including providing a home for previously-released tracks “Supermodel,” “Mammamia” and “The Loneliest” — and flirts with an amalgamation of styles from punk (“Bla Bla Bla”) to emo (“Timezone”) to glam rock (“Baby Said”) without batting an eye.
The Whole Thing Oozes With Raw Street Busking Spirit
Måneskin might seem like they came out of nowhere, but there’s a virtuous backstory that once found the young guns busking on the streets of Rome with tip jars before eventually finding fame after entering (and winning) the Eurovision contest in 2021. That raw talent and feverish passion behind the music, not to mention the chemistry built over years by the childhood friends, comes out of all the nooks on RUSH!
A song like “Kool Kids” is two steps away from being a gutter punk classic as David’s rebel intonation and animalistic refrains are the perfect fodder for Raggi’s frenetic strumming and Torchio’s gut punch beats. It’s this type of performance style that has attracted a wealth of attention and got them bookings on the VMAs, Saturday Night Live and the American Music Awards.
They Fit in the Perfectly Placed Ballad
Guns N’ Roses put “November Rain” right after “Double Talkin’ Jive,” Aerosmith padded “Crazy” in right after “Gotta Love It” and Måneskin followed the formula beautifully placing the heart-tugger “If Not For You” right after “Kool Kids,” allowing a chance to catch your breath in the middle of an adrenaline-packed album. Layered with acoustic plucking, David’s passioned pleas and high notes and some somber violin, it’ll have you reaching for your lighter … if not also Kleenex. Oh and David namedrops Nirvana just to make it extra spicy.
All the Songs Beg for an Arena Tour
Måneskin are already outgrowing the large-cap ballrooms they headlined last fall in their first road jaunt. Good thing then that these 17 new songs have the bodacious, wall-to-wall power that could fill an arena, because that’s where they’re poised to play next (or maybe amphitheaters if they go out this summer). Last summer’s Lollapalooza main stage appearance was a huge game changer for the Italian rockers where they proved they have the appeal and swagger to hypnotize a large crowd with their plugged-in magnetism. We can only imagine hearing the solos sing out when they bring “Gossip” live, the amplified singalong of “Baby Said” or the whiff of sexual tension that will have the audience in their lap for the no fucks single “Bla Bla Bla.”
Some Serious Statement Cover Art Brings it All Together
The cover art of RUSH! looks like it could have come from an unreleased AC/DC album or Van Halen for that matter. It features all four suited up Måneskin members splayed out on the floor as a precocious teen attempts to jump over their bodies. Not only is it a bold, literal “take no prisoners” approach, but it also hints at the true attitude of the album inside, full of risk-taking excitement, high energy and a need to move to the infectious patchwork of music. As well is hinting at how much Måneskin have appealed to a younger demographic by creating a whole new playground of rock worship for a new generation.
Get your copy of RUSH! here and follow Måneskin on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Spotify.