Saturday, May 21, 2011


The official debut album from this lo-fi entity is miles beyond everything they've released thus far; for me "Nature Tries Again" is the moment when Raspberry Bulbs have finally wrested themselves away from the siamese like connection to Bone Awl and turned in a work of striking individuality. The differences are subtle but overwhelming when taken as a whole; gone are the choking cloud balls of noise that masqueraded as songs on previous RB releases, replaced with actual melody and structure. The drums are far more audible this time around, allowing the project to align themselves closer to raw black metal than pure noise terror. The vocals are crisper as well, as though an understanding of the concepts being advanced has taken on a frenzied importance. This record strips away alot of the mystery that surrounded the band's output, and while the idea of anonymity was certainly important the actual presence and weight of the material demands a more concentrated engagement.
Everything here settles into a midtempo plod, reminiscent of contemporaries like Satanic Warmaster, or most closely, Akitsa, but the allegiance to crust punk and d-beat is never overshadowed by the black metal framework. This is unpolished, crude, and imbued with a primal aggression; it's also thoughtful, hypnotic, and composed. Brevity is a major strength for Raspberry Bulbs and the fact that they achieve such a dreamy, washed out feel is testament to their growing strength as writers and assemblers of sound. This isn't restful by any measure; rather it's so forceful in its attack it simply reduces your awareness and somehow manages to take you apart a little. The aura summoned here is difficult to properly describe, but it's an actual feeling of nestling, a reduction of psyche that seems to shrink the listener down into something far more insignificant.
This is the idea at work. Raspberry Bulbs have always promoted a distance-from the world, from others, from the self. The music describes an inability, as wells as a lack of desire, to understand or appreciate the actions of others. It's a suggestion of removal that grows more and more defiant across each release. The songs themselves easily speak to this philosophy, questioning the value of existence and spiraling ever further into all out nihilism and despair. There's always a threat of destruction and harm, a menacing atmosphere to the works that communicates a self-imposed isolationism. This is near agoraphobic paranoia rendered into song, and the feelings of unease and nausea summoned up on "Nature Tries Again" are so thick and crushing that simple listening becomes impossible. There's something deeper at work here, prying and poking at you, trying to whisper in the dark amidst a gleam of knives.

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