Published Oct 11, 2018While it's surely mere happenstance that this record is called Bunny, with a track titled "Echo," but one can't help but think that this sounds like a modern rendition of Echo and the Bunnymen at times — or at the very least has that same '80s sheen to it. This solely comes from Matthew Dear's vocals, which have that pained patience of a bygone era. His singing is what divides a lot of people, but it's also what sets him apart; even though he hasn't released anything in six years, there still aren't many who are doing what Dear does.
When you're trying to fuse minimal techno with avant-pop vocals, there's inevitably going to be a clash now and then. Like a lot of Dear's releases, Bunny straddles a fine line, and there are occasions where it'd almost be better if he toppled to one side or the other. Listening to "Modafinil Blues," for example, one can't help but wish Dear would quiet down for a sec, so we can properly hear the track's funky euphoria. Conversely, the vocals on "Moving Man" are what make the song.
Then something like "Echo" — which sounds like a campfire song that's been chewed up by filters, then tossed back into the woods — has the beats and the vocals on an even footing. Interesting side-note about "Echo": it's indecipherable chorus seemed a bit suspicious, so we put it into some editing software, then reversed that section, and the result, while still garbled, sounds a lot like he's saying "sitting on my knee."
Suffice to say, this album that has its ups and downs, but it's mostly middles. While Bunny is fairly consistent across the board, there isn't much that sticks out here. You won't find anything that nears the micro-house classic "Dog Days" on the album, but if you're looking for a radio-friendly record that isn't the usual popular porridge, then Dear has you covered. (Ghostly International)