Review Summary: A gimmick? A phase? A cash cow or a competent band?6 of 6 thought this review was well written
Hello, Sputnik class of 2011, today we're going to take a trip to the zoo! Not any old zoo, the Victory Records zoo which contains a selection of animals, ranging from the successful A Day To Remember to the atrocious Design The Skyline; somewhere between lies The Bunny The Bear. This band in particular divide opinion into two sections, one being "they're down right awful & simply a weak gimmick" or that they're "a pretty good band with some catchy, at times, strong material". Before I continue, here is a simple description of The Bunny The Bear; The Bunny is Bugs Bunny if he never had gained fame, a former shadow of himself, someone that is aggressive and appears violent through imagery, then we have The Bear, who could easily pass off as an alcoholic, drugged up outcast from the 'Hair Bear' bunch coupled with other band members, who clearly do not deserve a name....
Put them together and you have an electronically fueled album with screams and singing accompanied by the basic instrumentation you'd expect. Now, it's time to leave!
*After a short journey*
Here we are, we've arrived at their enclosure, as you can see The Bunny is screaming, rather viciously and acting out of the typical 'Bunny' character, you'd expect The Bunny to be pleasant and calm, whereas The Bear, who is normally the 'typical' aggressor is the harmonious singer, hitting notes so high people may doubt his gender. The Bunny, can push out deep gutturals and your typical 'metalcore' low standard scream coupled with the raspy, higher-pitched screams; the highs and lows are good and need little improvement, except maybe for them to be more polished production-wise. However, The Bunny has no middle range, it just drops into a spoken like yell, with excess straining, which is indeed, disappointing, yet it doesn't really affect the overall act. Now as The Bunny wanders off deeper into the enclosure, The Bear steps into the limelight, gently serenading our ears, with at times, a sense of urgency and emotion. The Bear conveys emotion through his voice very well and his voice is definitely the key to TBTB. The Bunny and The Bear vocally play off of each other, with a scream comes a high-octave harmony and so forth. Overall, the vocal aspect of this attraction is great, also, some may not enjoy The Bunny taking more of a back-seat during some later songs, although it just allows you to enjoy The Bear far more.
Now, while The Bunny and The Bear are being fed, we can see the rest of the band. The guitars are standard for a 'heavy'-core band, with the chugs and the riffs, they're not too bland but they're not too exciting either, they feel very inorganic and lackluster. They shine at points, but it would be nicer if they were more strongly structured and technical. The drums are also fairly standard, having few break-through moments, moreover, it feels like all the instruments came after the synth and vocals in order of importance. The synthesizer plays a key role in TBTB, it is used in a sporadic but yet consistent manner, it doesn't ever feel too much and it seems to blend well with the vocals, adding that extra juice to the music as the other instruments are played at a standard level, lacking 'oomph'.
If this trip hasn't surprised you so far, then this definitely will...TBTB can actually write half decent songs, with catchy choruses and specific verses which are memorable, if not fairly good. Their song-writing isn't atrocious and is a bonus for the overall album, as it encourages you to sing along or at least hum.
Unfortunately or fortunately, however you wish to perceive it, our time is up. You now have some idea of what TBTB is like, whether they're your cup of tea is up to you. But, please understand, that TBTB have tried to be 'experimental' and to be a good genre-typical band, the ingredients are there, and as I previously mentioned they're executed well, just sometimes TBTB falter at the most basic hurdles. If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say... is a fun, fairly good album, with memorable moments and lasting appeal.