A Bunny's Caravan
Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures


5.0
classic

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
September 3rd, 2010 | 437 replies | 27,929 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


22 of 23 thought this review was well written

Though many music reviewers would not like to admit it, the truth is that music criticism is easy, especially when compared to being on the other side of the glass- creating music. Especially at the amateur level, writers are free to envelop themselves in the work at hand, and if they’re adept at their job, provide truly convincing arguments to shed light either positively or negatively on the album. Obviously, writers can’t simply choose to like or dislike an album, but the way in which they present the music grants reviewers artistic freedom that is unfair, I think, when compared to the painstaking process in which most music is created. We, as writers, are coolly aloof; and it grows into guilt eventually, for me. Guilt over criticizing art people have poured so much energy into. Guilt over the fact that my review, no matter what the artistic quality, will never ever come close to the personalization and skill in your average piece of music. Never has this guilt accrued so significantly as it has upon my lucky stumbling into A Bunny’s Caravan. Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures is humbling. Will I come close to capturing the beauty that’s so latent on the obscure band’s only output? No... but I can try and help spread the word about this masterpiece, and maybe even uncover some hidden details Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures has yet to show me, along the way.

Chances are, you’ve probably never heard of the Norwegian band before, who play a unique blend of post-rock, emo, and indie that’s truly incomparable to any other music I’ve yet heard. This is expected. In fact, how would you know? They never played a single live show; nor did they even rehearse, not once. Before splitting, though, A Bunny’s Caravan met in a small, Norwegian studio and crafted a massive, poignant album called Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures. After listening to the 6 tracks fairly religiously for a few months, I feel like I’ve found what the crux of Draining Puddles is, why it has this profound effect on me. It’s an album that balances itself out perfectly, a grand experience so self-contained and complete that it exudes incredibly powerful sentiments- not simply once, but even more so upon multiple listens.

Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasure is a beautiful foray into a unique system of pulleys and weights, of perfect balance. Sometimes when a band incorporates uninhibited passion into their work, they forget to lie more subtle touches... Easter Eggs to unearth upon repeat listens. ABC are different, they’re truly masters of their domain with their attention to detail and texture. For every moment of sublime, post-rock serenity, there’s an all-out cry to the clouds of passion from their vocalist, whose voice rings clearly as crystal. Whether it’s the vehement yelling that rounds out the 15-minute “Radio P.C.” or the whispery murmurs that inhabit “Cartwheels Into the Abyss,” the singing on Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures is absolutely stunning. Likewise, A Bunny’s Caravan assimilate a few, definite sounds into their unique hybrid. What’s more impressive than the gall it takes to blend emo vocals and aesthetics with post-rock build-ups, voice-sampling, and ambience is A Bunny’s Caravan’s amazing aptitude to do so. Such an expedition could’ve fallen flat, but Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures is indeed a dynamic success, a glorious triumph.

By descriptions alone, you might think this compares to Moving Mountains, another band that adds some post-rock bliss to their recipe. A Bunny’s Caravan are truly outstanding and distinctive from their peers though. On Draining Puddles, the band does more than simply integrate aspects of dissimilar genres... no, ABC convinces me that they’ve created a niche all to themselves. The genuine innovation and fresh vibrance on Draining Puddles demand that lumping ABC into a single style of music wouldn’t do the work justice. For accuracies sake, “Progressive Emo” might encompass ABC’s sound, but I couldn’t stand to live with myself if I labeled them as such.

In essence, Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures is an album that perfectly captures just about everything I love about music. From the powerful first few strides on “Inclosed By Skies,” it becomes clear that Draining Puddles has dynamism, has energy. Perhaps most satisfying, though, is the completeness of the band’s sole output. Five out of the six tracks top 5 minutes, one going above 9, and the closer clocking in at more than 15 minutes. What’s amazing throughout, though, is that boredom is simply not an option. ABC employs techniques already-perfected by bands like Do Make Say Think or Set Fire To Flames. The sophisticated layering and vast sonic landscape of “Inclosed by Skies” is awe-inspiring. It’s not until the closer, though, that things get truly interesting. “Radio: P.C.” begins with a sample of a level-headed man speaking softly and clearly about the evils of corporations’ influence on global politics. Ever so slightly, the ambience around him rises until little by little a blaring guitar overtakes his voice and erupts in broken yells. The crescendo swells, and the man’s familiar voice returns. Call me guily of catering to my audience if you will, but the technique isn’t all that far away from Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s post-rock perfection; and still, Draining Puddles is anyhing but derivative. It’s simply beautiful, the band’s ability to create and erase, to blend and to dissipate so fluidly, remaining fresh and innovative throughout. To imagine that Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures was recorded in a studio without any previous rehearsals is incomprehensible; but don’t take my word for it, hear the stunning album for yourself.

As I think back to my introduction, it’s evident that critiquing an album is by no means a one-man job. It’s a relationship. For my glowing review of Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures to truly succeed, the reader must also participate. While I’ll never write a review that reaches the artistic integrity of the music at hand, I can be completely satisfied with my work if albums as mind-numbingly extraordinary as Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures reach my audience.



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4.2
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With a conclusion that will leave the listener breathless and a journey filled with endless dynamics...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
September 3rd 2010



20049 Comments


Told myself I'd stop 5ing albums as much but this was long overdue. please listen. if you have a heart.

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

bailar12
September 3rd 2010



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

about time eric gawd

Lakes.
September 3rd 2010



27004 Comments


I am of British and Norwegian descent..ya. And it's indie, so I'll listen.

Digging: Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring

SeaAnemone
September 3rd 2010



20049 Comments


been real busy bungy k

EVedder27
September 3rd 2010



6088 Comments


great review mr eric sir

Maniac!
September 3rd 2010



26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pssst



my dig


:D

SeaAnemone
September 3rd 2010



20049 Comments


thanks... and please guys, if there's anything that was unclear, I could explain better, or was poorly written, please let me know. this was admittedly written without a whole lotta editting as i don't have much time here : /

porch
September 3rd 2010



8453 Comments


bailar is bungy?

ConsiderPhlebas
September 3rd 2010



6157 Comments


it’s become clear that critiquing an album is by no means a one-man job. It’s a relationship.




News just in: writers need readers.

Maniac!
September 3rd 2010



26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


bailar is bungy?




Wasn't it obvious 2 months ago?

EVedder27
September 3rd 2010



6088 Comments


bailar is bungy?



Lakes.
September 3rd 2010



27004 Comments


bailar is bungy?


NO!!!!!!

crazyblinddude
September 3rd 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Anything with emo/indie? Count me in. I've had this in my library for a while but I haven't listened to it for God knows why. Nice review once again Sea. I'll pos.

SeaAnemone
September 3rd 2010



20049 Comments


thanks CP, that does sound stupid... fixd.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 3rd 2010



5791 Comments


never heard of this but

i will listen to this album (and pos this review)

Prolapse
September 3rd 2010



4370 Comments


you've convnced me, downloading now

Maniac!
September 3rd 2010



26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Personally, I'd make it shorter. I think the second-to-last paragraph is a bit bloated with too much info... but that's just me. I don't know anything.

SeaAnemone
September 3rd 2010



20049 Comments


I know Maniac! I figured some would think it was too long.

But personally... if it's a band people have never heard of more description is always better than less... pithy is better for bands/albums people already know.

Thanks for the help though.

Any thoughts on my description of the music?

ConsiderPhlebas
September 3rd 2010



6157 Comments


Good review; the flourishes of philosophy are thought-provoking. You always seem so serious in your reviews, though. It would be interesting to see you add a little humour.

Maniac!
September 3rd 2010



26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mmmm everything looks alright to me. I already mentioned what I would change, but your reasoning for not changing it is respectable.

Better than anything I have or will write, anyway...



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