Review Summary: A captivating journey in the world of Rabbit Junk.Will Die
is Rabbit Junk’s first official album since Project Nonagon
eight years ago… except that the band released two compilations of singles and EPs in between which are exactly like two albums and if you think it’s not the same, then Project Nonagon
and This Life is Where You Get ***ed
were already collections of EPs and who cares in the end as long as the band is still alive and kicking, even though Rabbit Junk Will Die
. Funnily, I involuntarily wrote the title of the album Will Rise
while writing this review... anyway.
is a very enjoyable album. It displays most qualities that we’ve become accustomed to find in a Rabbit Junk release albeit without a truly extremely good track this time (when it comes to their standards). Everything is great here but there’s nothing impressively unexpected and mind-blowingly amazing, which isn’t saying much really. (edit: plus, Shadow Horizon is on par with their best stuff.)
On the contrary, saying that the album displays most qualities we’ve come to expect from a Rabbit Junk release is not a small statement; it means a lot of qualities. Expect a few memorably fun (Gravity Hero
) or crushing (Hunting
) guitar riffs, heady melodies (Shadow Horizon
), a few grandiose aerial reverb/delay-you’re-my-best-friends passages (most tracks), and some electronic onanism (The Art of Defiance, Become Hell
); all of this wrapped up in a nice retro-futuristic industrial metal synths-friendly atmosphere… what am I forgetting.
JP Anderson’s singing is great, quite soulful and varied without sounding forced. An example amongst others: On Bend the Light
he seamlessly marries some poppy wooohooohoo with a death growl. And that’s also one of Rabbit Junk’s qualities, that every single shift from one genre to another, from violet corniness to black death, is as natural as giving a kiss to someone you love (edit: I know this comparison is weird, I think I was in a very sentimental mood when I wrote this review). Nothing sounds out of place here that which adds to the agreeable feeling of wholeness that there is to the album and that the EPs couldn’t convey… even though a few more tracks would have been welcome.
When it comes to Sum Grrrl’s contribution, her traditional, fast, aggressive and sugary delivery is only to be heard once (The Art of Defiance
) that which feels like not much, all the more so as her “Blood splattered on walls I know, lives that mattered, lives we owe, wrists in metal, my head back, no surrender no looking back” is so entertaining that at first it sounds more like an arbitrary amalgamation of sounds gathered together solely to please your ears than like real words. I hope this came out as a compliment. I’m not saying that Sum Grrrl can’t articulate ! On Hunting
’s verses though, she gives a shot at a less “logorrheical” delivery to a bit more mixed results. As usual, her voice also complements JP’s superbly when they shout together (Hunting, The Art of Dying
). What’s new (I believe) is that she tackles straightforward melodic singing (Hunting, Xenon
) and that she sounds great (“I’ll hunt you down in the shadows”). From that point of view, The Metro
is a bit disappointing in that it’s exactly a song that doesn’t ask from the singer to showcase a huge vocal range. That being said, the cover is quite nice, on the instrumental level too, it easily manages to recapture that 80s feel, and Sum Grrrl’s moving “I’ll love you always” is a perfect ending to the album.
Overall, Will Die
is a fun, heavy, noisy and very focussed release. Every single element feels like it’s been weighed thoughtfully and that an assembly of a hundred persons was gathered to vote whether that specific guitar riff should be altered or not or whether that electronic sound grabs the listener’s ear sufficiently... that which makes the weaker, less interesting moments stand out a bit more as they are quite unexpected. I’m not describing a flaw here, I’m saying it’s easy to underrate this album because everything is so polished and easy on the ears. Also, everything flows so naturally here that the songs tend to feel a lot shorter than they actually are. There is no huge quality spike or dive nor awkward shift in sound that would make it unlikely to be loved from one end to the others. Sure the three first tracks are slightly less interesting than what’s coming after them, but overall it’s a very finely crafted piece of work, another solid addition to Rabbit Junk’s discography and an enthralling journey.
Listen to the abum here: