The Bunny The Bear
A Liar Wrote This


3.4
great

Review

by DaveyBoy STAFF
July 24th, 2015 | 149 replies


Release Date: 07/24/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: OUT: The Bear… IN: The Bearess.

Music history has been littered with bands that, for one reason or another, have changed their lead vocalist. Some replacements work out well (Iron Maiden), some divide opinion (AC/DC, Van Halen), while others are unmitigated disasters (INXS). There hasn’t been too many cases, however, where the new vocalist’s sex is different to that of the originals; which is exactly what has occurred with divisive Buffalo post-hardcore act The Bunny The Bear. While the screams and growls of Matthew Tybor’s bunny persona remain intact, clean vocalist Chris “The Bear” Hutka has been replaced by young Rochester singer Haley Roback. And if the prolific moniker’s sixth LP ‘A Liar Wrote This’ is anything to go by, then it’s an evolution for the better.

Knowing full well that the addition of a female vocalist would naturally change the band’s dynamic, The Bunny The Bear (under Tybor’s command) have also taken the opportunity to refine their previously messy genre-bending. The electronic aspects of their sound have been dialled down and integrated more purposefully, while songwriting maturity has resulted in tracks feeling more complete, rather than just a collection of catchy passages taped together. There is still work to do though, especially musically. Having gone through multiple backing musicians over the years, producer Doug White plays it too modestly here, often relegating his own guitar and bass-lines to the background. Meanwhile, studio drummer Matthew McGinley is proficient, if not a great deal more. In the circumstances, however, it is understandable that perfecting the vocal dynamic should take priority.

So, what of young Roback" Well, her vocals definitely display promise. Both the power and range of her voice are impressive, while she also fits the post-hardcore style well enough. She does, however, occasionally remind of a reality television show contestant in her want to over-sing every single sentence as if it’s the most important hook ever. Just as interesting is the gradual transformation of Tybor. While his anguished screams and growls will continue to polarize, they have undoubtedly improved and don’t grate as much as in the past. Meanwhile, he occasionally integrates clean vocals that effectively ground the verses of some tunes; a necessity predominantly brought about by Roback’s involvement.

In a sense, the recruitment of Haley Roback has given rise to a brand new band that is still seeking a true identity. And, for this reason, the most impressive factor concerning ‘A Liar Wrote This’ is the way in which The Bunny The Bear navigate through these thirteen tracks in search of their best-fitting sound. It results in an album that may not include a home run hit, but contains a consistency that the outfit has hitherto failed to deliver. Furthermore, it brings a welcome diversity that feels far more focused than any haphazard experiments from the past. The strong mid-section alone carries the schizophrenic ‘Oblivion’, the restrained reimagining of ‘It’s Not Always Cold in Buffalo’, the atmospheric ‘Sleep Sequence’ and infectious highlight ‘Somewhat Standards’. Even the LP’s two ballads display variety, with ‘Empty Hands’ being piano-driven and the especially impressive ‘Dead Leaves’ relying on acoustic guitar.

Come to think of it, female-fronted post-hardcore is in itself a rare commodity, with only Eyes Set to Kill and Picture Me Broken currently coming to mind. In that sense, The Bunny The Bear might not only have prolonged their career with this change of vocalist, but could now foreseeably amount to a band of some influence. Who would ever have thought that!"

Recommended Tracks: Somewhat Standards, It’s Not Always Cold in Buffalo (Revisited), Sleep Sequence & Lover’s Touch.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

To see Roback & an unmasked Tybor, here are the videos for:

- ‘It's Not Always Cold in Buffalo (Revisited)‘: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0to-umHLWQA

- 'Lover's Touch': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ORwRadaswc

Questions to be answered:

(1) Yes, this is actually good.

(2) Yes, I do know that a female bear is technically called a sow.

(3) And no, I don’t count Tilian Pearson as a female vocalist.



Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2015


10415 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

you keep up with this band? lol



Glad that the harsh vocalist sings more, his screams always annoyed the hell out of me. The old clean singer could be good but he liked to do those chipmunk imitation falsettos that just pissed me off too much.



Idk, I'll probably check this out at some point to see how much they improved but it's not high on my list of priorities.

bloc
July 23rd 2015


53505 Comments


I've become accustomed to liking at least ONE song on every single one of these guys' album but this is the first one where this did not happen. And to make things worse I couldn't stand any of the songs for the most part. Gotta disagree with ya Davey but I'm actually really happy to see you reviewing stuff like this that would easily get ignored.

Digging: Sacrifice - Soldiers Of Misfortune

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Kind of keep up with them Brett... But then paid particular attention once they announced the new female singer. It's almost a brand new band in a way. The chipmunk falsettos are no more.



Agree with the 1st pat bloc... If you took the best 2 songs from their previous 5 LPs, you'd have a pretty strong album. But i'm not surprised this is not as much to your liking, since the electronic elements are much subtler.

Snake.
July 23rd 2015


21149 Comments


this band needs to die

Digging: Space Camp - Inevitable Demise

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

They kinda did. I was actually thinking they should have changed the name. Something like 'Beauty & The Beast' might be fitting.

Brostep
Emeritus
July 23rd 2015


4418 Comments


wait this doesn't suck what

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

It doesn't, but there is no real dancey/electronic stuff here Will... So unsure if you'll be into it.

Dylan620
July 24th 2015


4384 Comments


I keep confusing this band with Iwrestledabearonce

Digging: Lucy Dacus - Historian

Nokturn
July 24th 2015


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Love this release. Granted, I love all of their stuff, so it's not surprising. Nice to see a positive review of them for once.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Thanks Nokturn. Glad the review could prompt your 1st comment on the site. Saw your sound-off the other day & it did make me a listen from a few different angles, so to speak.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 24th 2015


14091 Comments


gr8 review davey

id count rolo tomassi as a female fronted post hardcore band, even if they do have a metal slant

Digging: Wipers - Over the Edge

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Thanks mort. I actually had a list of about 10 female-fronted bands that were borderline post-hardcore. Rolo Tomassi were on there, but yes, they skew in all kinds of directions from what I've heard.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 24th 2015


14091 Comments


how much rolo tomassi have you heard anyway? theyre a very interesting band (in the current core scene at least) and defo worth listening to

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Thanks Nimb. I'm not so sure about your correction. There's differing views on whether the plural/singular rule takes precedence in this case. Plus, the sentence still sounds correct when spoken out loud imo. I will stand to be corrected though.



Just songs here & there Mort. No full album.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 24th 2015


14091 Comments


ah ok. Comsmology is the best place to start with them if your so inclined

(the song or the album)

Sinternet
July 24th 2015


17903 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually enjoyed their last albm for the most part so it will be interesting to listen to this. Had no idea it was coming out.

Digging: SMiLE.dk - Smile

silentstar
July 24th 2015


2526 Comments


"And if the prolific moniker’s sixth LP ‘A Liar Wrote This’"

wow 6 albums in 5 years that's a record had no idea they had so many releases

i remember liking their song aisle

edit: or was it ocean floor? it's the one where they're on a ship in the video ...

silentstar
July 24th 2015


2526 Comments


also, found this comment from 2011:

"I'd enjoy an actual female vocalist instead of an awkwardly big guy with a bear mask on. Preferably attractive."

guess someone's in for a treat

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

You're probably technically correct Nimb. I'm a rule-breaker though. ;-)



Sinternet, this release also snuck up on me tbh. Had no idea about until about 2-3 weeks ago. It would be interesting to know what you think of this if you liked their last LP (which I didn't).



Yep silentstar, when writing about their last album, I even predicted their next release date (I said "Feb '15"). A change of vocalist delayed it 5 months though! Who said that last comment? You?



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