Release DetailsLABEL Learning Curve Records
RELEASED ON 1/1/2007
This Bunny Bites
posted on 3/2007 By:
Sounding somewhat like Karp/Big Business reinventing alt-rock/noise rock classics with Floor's guitar tone, St. Paul's The Deaf, a male/female fronted power trio, comes off like an artifact of the early '90s dressed in stoner rock/sludge’s recognizable traits. Ripping through fourteen tracks in twenty-six minutes on their debut, This Bunny Bites travels back to an age where the influence of Sonic Youth started to show itself in other genres. In addition, there's a bit of riot grrrl punk (not lyrically, but musically) and a bit of Touch and Go’s other pigfucker bands, sped up and wrapped up in a sonic exterior that will satisfy anyone that likes to feel deep guitar tones deep in their gut.
Not quite punk, not quite noise rock, not quite stoner, The Deaf deftly defy easy categorization, but not in a way that renders their material unfamiliar. It almost seems like the band revels in providing you a glimpse of their influences. “Into the Fire”'s sludgy, stoned out groove is punctured by male vocalist David Safar's “Song 2” waaahooo. “Ready to Die”'s beginning sounds scarily like Thurston Moore writing for Queens of the Stone Age. These snapshots, while clever, never get in the way of what the band is all about: weighty riffs in short songs.
Nearly all of This Bunny Bites's tracks are under two minutes. They kind of share the same philosophy of early Wire; do just enough and if the song doesn’t need anything more, why force it in? But, there's a sense that some of these tracks could’ve been fleshed out, could’ve been more than just strung together bridges, without losing their pacing. It creates one of the classic problems that plague bands with short songs: by the middle of the album you feel like you’ve heard everything they have to offer. It's no surprise, then, that the second half drags and feels a lot longer than it should. Even with some bowel-massaging low end grooves that get the head bobbing, the build-up becomes predictable and the songs lose steam because of it.
Although it's only twenty-six minutes, it's hard to listen to This Bunny Bites as a whole. The songs function better as separate entities than as a cohesive album. Consider them mixtape-ready instead of album-ready. Still, harsh criticisms aside, I have to admit that The Deaf are a lot of fun. This Bunny Bites is an enjoyable way to relive past moments in alt-rock, noise rock, indie, etc. by tuning low and turning up to eleven. You could almost say that The Deaf is a product of indie's recent interest in the heavier-than-two-tons-o'-bad-ass riffing that has been stoner rock’s stock and trade forever, but that would be selling them short and ignoring how much of a good time they must be at the local club on a Saturday night. They’re some slack motherfuckers grooving it up and, while the songs aren’t quite there yet, The Deaf are worth keeping an eye on.
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