If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say
01. Prelude To Pregnancy
03. Ocean Floor
04. C’est Pas Si Lion
05. It’s A Long Way From The Esophagus To The Ovaries
06. Lust Touch Seed
08. Rough Eyes
09. Sympathy For The Queen Of Lies
When you call your label debut album If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, it’s probably safe to say you’re not expecting a deluge of complimentary feedback from the music world. Yet, when Victory Records signed The Bunny The Bear – a band whose woefully apparent primary gimmick is the titular facemasks of the vocalists – in the wake of the god-awful Design The Skyline, you had to wonder if the old adage of ‘any press is good press’ was poised to line the pockets of the label with ill-gotten money from kids who don’t know any better, rather than endeavouring to expose the world to progressive and intelligent music.
You’ll have gathered by now that I’ve not come into this review with high hopes.
Starting with the most basic chugged riff, leading into a poor attempt at some sort of synth lead is definitely not the way to win over the doubters. You could call the section that follows an attempt at math metal, but the clusterfuck of styles and stop-start synth lines do the album opener no favours.
Lead single “Aisle” is certainly one of the most memorable tracks, showcasing Chris ‘the bear’ Hutka’s proficient, if not scrotum-squeezingly high singing ability, but he’s no Anthony Green, and the synth’s propensity to follow him up and down this scales is lazy at best. The chorus is actually pretty catchy, but unfortunately it’s in the same way that herpes or when you find yourself humming Rebecca Black over your cereal on a Friday morning are.
From the mid section the album takes a distinct turn towards utilising Hutka’s vocals for ballad-style songs – particularly “C’est Pas Si Lion” and the surprisingly inoffensive “396.17” – utilising the register fairly well, but they’re a rotting raft floating on a bog of mediocrity. I don’t mean to rag on the band’s technical ability at all – some isolated parts are executed well – but any worth is hampered by numerous missteps: the uninteresting and often bland lyrics; those ever-present repetitive arpeggio synth parts, and Matthew ‘the bunny’ Tybor’s screaming parts. They seem to range from literal shouting to rasping lows with almost no middle ground. Obviously we’re no stranger to a good growl, but there’s no reason or consistency as far as I can see.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the target market for this, but nevertheless I can’t see much value here. When the most interesting facet of the act is that is the vocal execution doesn’t match the visual cues of the respective frontmen (i.e the ‘cuteness’ of a bunny vs. the ‘aggressiveness’ of a bear) you have to wonder what it is that Victory saw here. The music is bland for the most part, and the only moderately redeeming feature for me is that ‘the bear’ can sing. Not for me, and probably not for you either. Preconceptions confirmed.
The Bunny The Bear – If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say gets: