Review Summary: Perhaps this rust is for the best.
Buffalo, New York electronicore outfit The Bunny The Bear
, for better or worse, have garnered a "love 'em or hate 'em" reputation as well as an ever-changing lineup of musicians (bar unclean vocalist/frontman/"The Bunny" Matthew Tybor); perhaps due to the experimental nature of their music turning off even people who generally like most electronicore. Despite boasting a quite frankly impressive seven
studio albums at this point, it feels like the group were never able to decide on what exactly they were aiming for despite getting progressively better over time. Enter their seventh studio effort The Way We Rust
, which not only perfects the sound they have definitively decided to go forward on, but also provides perhaps their most consistent work yet.
Tybor's unclean vocals are the strongest they've ever been; he's perfected his technique and they no longer sound forced. Likewise, new clean vocalist/fifth iteration of The Bear Joseph Garcia compliments Tybor exceptionally well, especially in tracks such as stand-outs "Wait And See" and "I Am Free". The band has also used the electronic elements of their music far more tastefully here, resulting in a much smoother and clean sound, especially helped by the crystal-clean production of the album. In short, The Bunny The Bear have finally found their identity in the music; which has become more akin to their own unique twist on self-titled era Asking Alexandria or New Breed than the messy outings of their previous work, which tried to emulate the top dogs.
Unfortunately, despite being a general improvement, The Way We Rust
is absolutely not without its faults. Tybor's lyrics fault on some points of the album, such as these rather cringe-inducing lines:
It was just another day in the life of a drunkard
Retired, but still not acting very polite
-"Wait And See"
Believe in love
After all the married women I've ***ed
After all the harlots I've handed my heart to
I still believe in love
-"Ignoring Responsibilites (Interlude)"
There's also a small amount of filler in the album, such as the three
interlude tracks (just one wasn't enough") and the ill-advised lapse back into their older work (and worst song on the album) "Bloody Lip". Despite the shortcomings, it doesn't hold the album down in the long run, because the good outweighs the bad by a decent margin and ultimately saves it from being what could have very well been a band refusing to change and instead delusionally sitting in the past like some of their peers.
All in all, The Bunny The Bear have provided a highly enjoyable effort and remarkable improvement in The Way We Rust
. The band have proven that they are indeed capable of fixing a majority of the faults in their older stuff that held them down from getting the recognition they would have gotten much earlier, and despite the fact that there are still some flaws present, it doesn't kill the entire album. If given a chance, it might surprise even those who are anti-TBTB, and is overall a massive step in the right direction for the band; if they can shake off the small nostalgia they have for their older works, they could very well pull off something excellent in the future.