Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Latest missive from this Bone Awl offshoot, existing a mere arm's length away from the parent project both ideologically and sonically. I'm not quite sure how i feel about Raspberry Bulbs. I love the absurdity of the name when taken in context of the style of music but there's really nothing else here. Or is there? This is simple, cut to the quick ultra primal black metal that sounds exactly like Bone Awl. Fidelity is the same, pacing is the same, vocals are the same, guitar riffs are almost the same-the only differing factor here is the inaudibility of the drums. They're buried so far down in the mix i initially thought time was being kept simply by the percussive attack on the guitar.
I'm not sure i understand why these weren't just presented as Bone Awl songs. Both projects wrap themselves in obscurity and vague chiaroscuro and both seem to favor a hazy worldview enveloped in existential philosophy and a confounding elitism that speaks to black metal's distance better than many of their contemporaries. I've heard said that Raspberry Bulbs speaks to a more punk orientation, a purposeful simplicity and obvious stripping down to achieve some sort of aggression through amputation. The riffs and song structures certainly constrain themselves into a weird blur of black metal and d-beat, existing in both genres but indicative of neither, boasting an almost amateurish simplicity if they weren't so well-played. But simplicity for simplicity's sake doesn't always work. Maybe that's what's confusing me most in my feelings towards this demo. I love Bone Awl but Raspberry Bulbs don't really do all that much for me. I like hearing drums on a black metal record. There's more than that, but when your music is composed of two main brutal elements it behooves you to make sure both are audible. Force is necessary to a project like this and while the fidelity conveys some of it, the admittedly thrashing guitar abuse isn't enough to push everything through. In the back of my mind i wonder if i'm missing something about this project. Maybe the emptiness i'm feeling is the intent. Maybe this ambivalence i feel towards the three songs here is indicative of Raspberry Bulbs' extension of Bone Awl's removal. My interest is piqued and further exploration of the catalogue is warranted, if only to understand what's all going on here. I can only hope the upcoming LP on Hospital will illuminate this band's murky transmissions. Recommended...?

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