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The Residents - The Bunny Boy CD (album) cover

THE BUNNY BOY

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.71 | 20 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars "The Bunny Boy" is a bunch of downbeat songs about life and dying and whatever else springs into the minds of these nutters. The accompanying internet interaction and DVD would be helpful to comprehend what this is all about but it is hard to locate these days so we are stuck with just the audio and it is baffling but bedazzling at the same time. The story involves the search for a brother who has mysteriously disappeared. The Residents are always going to surprise with their unique brand of music. This album certainly has its fair share of bizarre moments but is a much more polished production with some music that actually is well played, not sounding like a kid banging on a xylophone or out of tune guitars competing with dissonant synths, and nasally Louisianan twang in the singing and a ton of repetitive chanting. This is perhaps a more accessible album as those are the normal attributes of a Resident's project and they are for the most part absent here. It opens with

Boxes of Armageddon that draws us into the enigmatic atmosphere of bleak ravings set to music. I'm Not Crazy is ironic as I always thought they were, and Pictures From a Little Girl has a little girl with a disturbing demeanour.

The Yankee twang is here on songs like Secret Room but the music is not soaked in doomy synths. The lyrics are nonsense as usual and there is an odd array of instrumentation but it kind of shimmers and sparkles rather than sounding bleak such as on My Nigerian Friend. The instrumentals such as I Like Black are quite endearing. The lead guitar at times sounds well played, but its not Snakefinger.

Golden Guy sounds more like vintage Residents with its quirky lyrics with repeated phrases and nasal vox along with eerie sounds emanating. The mention of Elvis cements this sentiment as he has been a target of Residents since the beginning. The Bunny Boy is more gravelly singing over dissonant lead guitar and low synth tones. It develops into a heavier vibe with crashing drums and distorted guitars and then a pitchy reverberated voice chanting. The time sig changes and moves into an atonal anti-music passage.

Blood on the Bunny takes things to a more unsettling level, then I Killed Him comes in with driving guitar screeches and xylophone sounds, tinkering over the unusual vocals. The story is developing but its impossible to understand without prior knowledge or the DVD.

The Dark Man sounds like it's been lifted from one of the earlier Residents albums, apart from the clearer production. It's very bleak and repetitive, lots of tinkering, sustained synths, guttural singing and nonsensical narrations. Secret Message has a cool melody, deceptively sweet in nature for a while, then the squiggly sound and vocals enter throwing it off balance. Patmos is monotonous melodies and the album closes with growling sinister vocals on the deliriously nasty Black Behind; "everything is black!" What are they saying? Basically that everything is black; "there is nothing but the black behind, snaking, creeping, hiding in the shadows and waiting for the naïve, the unaware, the careless and those who aren't scared to be sucked into the black behind." The angelic choir at the end may signify that the boy found his brother in the blackness of death.

Overall a 3 star album that is way more accessible musically than usual, and still highly strange in terms of content and vocals. Not the place to start for this band but nevertheless a decent exploration of searching and the pain of loss.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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