Rabbit Junk
Project Nonagon


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
December 8th, 2010 | 144 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The only real letdown is the loss of Jeniffer "Sum Grrl" Bernett on vocals as the missing ‘fun’ elements are more than made up for with ambition and anger.

In 2008 JP Anderson released his third album under the Rabbit Junk moniker, and it was easily his most ambitious. The project, titled This Life is Where You Get Fucked, was a three-part concept album that set out to supplement the band’s digital hardcore foundation with a unique subset of influences for each section. Truth be told, though, the album wasn’t as diverse as the description might imply. The first section was easily the most hardcore influenced and the second section had an obvious hip-hop influence, but basically the album was pretty linear. Despite the fact that the ‘concept’ part of the album wasn’t totally realized, This Life is Where You Get Fucked still ended up being another excellent addition to the Rabbit Junk discography – an addition that required a sequel in order to fulfill JP Anderson’s initial vision.

Project Nonagon is meant to be that vision-fulfilling sequel, but it’s never obvious that it has any real connection to This Life is Where You Get Fucked. The only element that the two albums share is the use of three distinct sections that retain the same classifications – the difference being that Project Nonagon actually succeeds in creating three entirely different listening experiences. Other than that, Project Nonagon not only diverges from its supposed predecessor, but also from the Rabbit Junk discography in general. Don’t get me wrong, the band’s blend of electronics, metal and hardcore is still firmly intact and JP Anderson’s signature shout is still front-and-center, but after that there are some very noticeable differences and not all of them will initially be welcome.

No matter how heavy or dissonant Rabbit Junk became they were always a fun band foremost, but that isn’t the case anymore. The main reason for this change in demeanor seems to be due to the loss of Jeniffer "Sum Grrl" Bernett on backing vocals. Jeniffer was consistently the exultant counterpoint to JP’s aggression, the one most likely to deliver a biting and sarcastic line, and a distinguishing force in a testosterone-driven genre. Throughout three albums, Jeniffer was always the Flavor Flav to JP Anderson’s Chuck D, and she is sorely missed here. The other factor that seems to sap a bit of the ‘fun’ away is that the metal influences dominate the electro, punk and hardcore elements too often. The end result is an album that shares more with The Shizit’s last release than it does with anything that Rabbit Junk has done before. If you’re wondering how that can really be that terrible of a revelation, don’t worry, because it’s not.

The first section, The Struggle, comes blazing out of the gates with an aggressive blend of electronics, hardcore and black metal and is probably the most similar to The Shizit. The energetic riffs shred through the electronics and beats, and JP Anderson’s throat-shredding shout simply dominates. “Blood,” in particular, is just a near-relentless barrage of double bass, crushing riffs and unmitigated anger. When it isn’t pummeling the listener with thick percussion and JP’s screams, it is displaying the band’s new symphonic/melodic angle that includes some surprising clean singing as well as a more prominent use of keys and synths. If the first section is considered a minor departure for the band, the second section comes completely from left field as they move in a direction that is heavily influenced by movie soundtracks.

The second section, Ghetto Blasphemer, is based on the works of HP Lovecraft and is a huge change for Rabbit Junk. A majority of this section’s lyrics are spoken and are intended to be seen as the voice of each song’s protagonist. During these parts the music is often nothing more than subtle electro beats and an ominous aura created by the synths. These parts are interspersed with some of the darkest, heaviest sections of the band’s career; with JP’s vocals even flirting with death metal on “The Revenge of Julian Modely.” If there is a section that is going to be hard for Rabbit Junk fans to digest, it is going to be this one, but the rewards for seeing these songs through is also the greatest. These three songs easily feature some of the band’s most ambitious ideas as well as some of their heaviest and most restrained moments, and they may take a few tries to make everything click.

The final section, This Death Is Where You Get Life, is probably the most similar to Rabbit Junk’s previous endeavors, and is a welcome conclusion to Project Nonagon. These final three tracks are the easiest to digest as they return a bit of that intangible fun factor as well as JP Anderson’s quirky sense of humor. This section begins with the EBM meets 80s rock of “Handlebars” and “Devotee.’ These two songs swing the mood 180 degrees away from the dark vibes of the initial part of the album with their upbeat style and catchy choruses, but JP Anderson saved the best for last. “U-Lock Justice!” is just a chaotic blend of hardcore, drum&bass and reggae and will probably elicit a chuckle (or at least a smile) from most longtime fans.

JP Anderson may have set out to make Project Nonagon a direct sequel to This Life is Where You Get Fucked but it didn’t really happen. The two projects have very little in common, and what little direction they do share is executed much better here. Project Nonagon succeeds in creating three distinct sections that push the limits of Rabbit Junk’s sound while still retaining enough of the past to please long time fans. That means that there is still plenty of the band’s signature digital hardcore grind, but there is also a more developed sense of melody, more visceral riffs as well as a willingness to jump feet-first into a soundtrack oriented direction. The only real letdown is due to the removal of Jeniffer "Sum Grrl" Bernett from the band’s formula, but if she is only missing for this single album then that can probably be forgiven.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
December 8th 2010


16132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Download the first two sections of Project Nonagon here:

http://www.rabbitjunk.com/nonagon/nonagon.htm


Download the latest album by The Shizit (now known as The Named) here:

http://www.lunaticfringe.org/~schizoid/dtrashrecords/digitaldownloads/digitaldownload.php?ID=DTRASH138

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Emim
December 8th 2010


26666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooh, so getting this.

And your comment got my hopes up that there was another Shizit album, but there isn't : (

Willie
Moderator
December 8th 2010


16132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ha ha, sorry about the Shizit confusion. I just referenced it a few times so I figured I'd throw the link up (especially since they're basically done by the same person).

This review turned out longer than I wanted, but oh well.

Emim
December 8th 2010


26666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm actually kind of glad that she's gone, because she seemed to undermine the core sound of the band.

Anywho, I will get this and I will listen to it.

bloc
December 8th 2010


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh damn, so that solves the case of the missing female vocals. But I'm thinking of giving this the same rating as you, it's quite impressive.

Good work Trey.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Willie
Moderator
December 8th 2010


16132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, I know some people didn't like the female vox, but I thought it gave the albums a Tsunami Bomb kind of vibe.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2010


16789 Comments


Awesome review Willie, I've been lacking music like this in my library lately.

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Willie
Moderator
December 8th 2010


16132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If you haven't heard anything by these guys I'd recommend ReFrame first even though it is definitely more abrasive and raw than this.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2010


16789 Comments


Noted, I will check that out first then.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2010


31493 Comments


Knew this would be a Trey review

Did I miss the Celine review?

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

Acanthus
December 9th 2010


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Having heard nothing from the band except "Orange Laces" your review made me curious; luckily the download links were right there, thank you for that! Part I is different yet I can tell it's the same band, Part II however is just amazing! "Poor fat Harold.... it was magnificent"

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Grimlin
December 9th 2010


881 Comments


oh damn, didn't know they were coming out with another album. last thing i heard from them was Ghetto Blasphemer II: From the Stars, which was pretty awesome. so if this follows that style i can hang. does kinda suck sum grrl is gone:/

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2010


6287 Comments


I checked the band's site and tbh, i'm kind of confused as to how Project Nonagon is linked with the band's previous record.

Trey do you know if the third part of the record is going to be uploaded in the future?

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2010


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, this sounds like it's straight up my alley, I'm very interested and will aquire shortly.

Emim
December 9th 2010


26666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is pretty great. Now I kinda miss sum grrl : (

Willie
Moderator
December 9th 2010


16132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Did I miss the Celine review?
No, I never ended up with any free time. It's still on the agenda, though.
Part I is different yet I can tell it's the same band, Part II however is just amazing! "Poor fat Harold.... it was magnificent"
My sentiments exactly.
oh damn, didn't know they were coming out with another album. last thing i heard from them was Ghetto Blasphemer II: From the Stars, which was pretty awesome. so if this follows that style i can hang.
Like the review says, this album is three very distinct sections that contain three songs each, so only one section is similar to "From the Stars."
I checked the band's site and tbh, i'm kind of confused as to how Project Nonagon is linked with the band's previous record.

Trey do you know if the third part of the record is going to be uploaded in the future?
Like I said, the connection is very loose but it's supposed to be the sequel/second half. I don't think they're uploading the third part for free because you can get the whole thing through iTunes, Amazon and his record label.
Yeah, this is pretty great. Now I kinda miss sum grrl : (
Yeah, I listened to ReFrame last night and was wishing she was on this.

Emim
December 9th 2010


26666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So is the third part out already?

Willie
Moderator
December 9th 2010


16132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

He originally released part 1 (the first three tracks) and part 2 (the middle three tracks) separately and for free through the link I posted above. In order to get the final three tracks it looks like you buy the album or purchase individual songs through amazon/itunes.

Emim
December 9th 2010


26666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, ok. I'll have to look into that.

bloc
December 9th 2010


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I miss the girl too, although I mostly enjoyed her when she wasn't ALL OVER the track, just a few times here and there. Too much and they'd start to sound like MSI or something.



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