The Bunny The Bear

The Stomach For It

01. Congregration
02. Sky
03. All Birds
04. This Isn’t Why You Made Her
05. Soul
06. Breeze
07. Lonely
08. I’m Scared Aloud
09. Sheep
10. Pieces
11. It Kills Me

[05/22/12]
[Victory Records]

The complaint I often get from my family and girlfriend about the music I listen to is that the vocals are, to quote directly, ‘shouty’. It’s a narrow view you’ve no doubt heard yourselves, and given the incredible range of growls, screams and snarls to be found in all facets of heavy music, is more than a little simplistic a description – but to The Stomach For It, The Bunny The Bear’s third album in as many years, it would apply directly — with all the negativity the tone usually carries, I’m afraid.

To say my view of this band’s duo of titular frontmen is divided would be putting it tactfully, because despite my distaste for the progressive vapidity of the genre, the unimaginative execution, the complete void of innovation, and even the unsatisfyingly empty guitar tone on this record, I have a level of respect for the talent of Chris ‘The Bear’ Hutka bordering on amiable. The ball-clenchingly high register of his falsetto is carried strongly throughout the altogether too-lengthy eleven tracks that make up this release, and are the sole welcome focal point that has carried over from their debut, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say (with which I have some familiarity).

Unfortunately, grizzly ole’ Hutka is still accompanied by his faux-vicious, and biggest personal gripe about this band, Matthew ‘The Bunny’ Tybor, whose harsh vocals also haven’t changed at all – but really should have. If anything, I find them even more grating here. Whilst Hutka’s singing takes centre stage much of the time, it is constantly accented by an irritating call-and-response style that they over-employ to detrimental effect – much like the hip-hop trope of rapping in response to singing, but executed poorly. I assume it’s supposed to add ‘edge’ to the proceedings, but…well, doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.

Even Hutka isn’t beyond reproach, and is more the hastily-applied coat of paint on a derelict wall than a genuine beacon of light. Whichever was conceived first – the vocal melodies or the synth lines – is merely copied by the other much of the time, and ironically it screams laziness.

The school of thought on breakdowns continues to be to throw them in without thought to effect. There are at least two in the first two minutes of track 2 ‘Sky’, and it doesn’t relent much from there on in. To break something down you must first build, but like with their contemporaries, this nugget of wisdom is once again lost – and this is besides the predictably monotonous chugging and boring song structure. There’s absolutely nothing catchy here I can find to latch onto, which at least I could with their previous release.

I will give The Bunny The Bear this: their titling has thus far proved canny. The Stomach For It is a warning as much as a name; like many an ill-advised 3am taco, it might seem appealing to some, but there’s little nutritional value here. In fact, there’s so much that bugs me about this album that it’s hard to express it with a modicum of restraint, and I’d like to keep my nice-guy image in tact, so I’ll finish with this ‘tl;dr’: I really can’t recommend you avoid this one enough.

The Bunny The Bear – The Stomach For It gets:

0.5/5

– CG

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