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The Bunny Brains - Holiday Massacre '98

-freshen up!
-harm is comin to me every day in every way
-stookey ring of evil
-upland lane
-switchblade sisters
-birdy doots
-overdose on cum
-choclate party
-never did the deed
-robert is a corpse
-love me do
-plying and dying
-greenwich mean sister

The Bunny Brains: Dan Bunny, Raimondo Paolucci, Jim Roberto, Davo, Peter Partenio

(Ampersand Etcetera no. 2003 h) The five piece Bunny Brains further the lo-fi side of PE, shifting into a country punk vein. Guitars, from Dan Bunny, Raimondo Paolucci and Jim Roberto are the main noise creators (with some less obvious keyboards thrown in) but the drive behind the whole set (which sounds at times like a live recording) is Davo's bass – this is a powerful motivator in most tracks – with assistance from Peter Partenio's drums. 'Freshen up!' gives the band a chance to loosen up before dropping into a swamp rock groove, some primal lyric screams in there, dirty guitar slashes before some increasing feedback and then tape effects close. Shorter than its title 'Harm is coming to me every day in every way' plays some light guitar and throbs before the introduction of vocals (back country) into the mix with 'Stookey ring of evil' where the guitars provide twangs, big sounds and pyrotechnics. The drawled vocals in 'Upland lane' get drowned in the pumping punk country rocker with squarly guitar solo. 'Switchblade sister' gets a live announcement and is a slower number that reminds me of Neil Young – both in vocals and melody – particularly 'Roll another number' with some noise guitars instead of a chorus. Country rock again in 'Birty doots' with shouted chorus, short twangy guitar and possible keyboards. A wall of sound from 'Overdose of cum' and a suggestion we have entered part way in, eases rebuilds and then into a more tentative conclusion. That mood continues in 'Chocolate party', twice as long as other tracks which opens slowly with scratchy loops and simple guitar and then develops into more open and experimental areas than the rest of the album. Whispered vocals, scraping slide guitar builds to a bit of warbly rock in the last few minutes. Into the final stretch of rock with the banjo loose rubbery 'Never did the deed', a brief improv in 'Robert is a corpse' then 'I love me do' driven by the bass and feedbacky guitar in the heavy instruments spoken word and a band intro which is of the Teddy Roxborough Group (?!) before a grungy climax. Dueling guitars spiral up through 'Plying and dying' into the late night meanderings of 'Greenwich mean sister' with some slurred Doors lyrics and chugging rhythm which is broken by a call of 'take 2' before continuing into the darkness. Good time rock and roll – a hoot-nanny pleasure punk. - Jeremy Keens

(Indieville 11/24/2003) The Bunny Brains don't care. They don't care if they make mistakes. They don't care if they offend their audience. They don't even care if they have an audience. The Bunny Brains are garage rock for the apathetic generation. But beyond all the attitude, the band have really got something with Holiday Massacre '98, even if it's bit confusing what that something is. At times, The Bunny Brains are in true garage rock territory ("Upland Lane," "Switchblade Sisters"), at other times they're floating through space in an almost shoegazer-esque manner ("Freshen Up!"), while sometimes they are just into full-on experimental punk ("Overdose on Cum," the brilliant "Chocolate Party.") What is special about this album is that it can't be classified as anything. It's just a well-unorganized mess of garage rock attitude and daring experimentalism. The resulting album is a funny, yet often mesmerizing mixture of melody and atonalism that will leave open-minded, lo-fi-loving listeners in mouth-gaping awe. Step back, know what you're dealing with, and then dive right in. - Matt Shimmer

(All Music Guide) A recording from 1998, possibly live (at least live in someone¹s basement, in lack of an audience), Holiday Massacre 98 presents the Bunny Brains in all their sloppiness. It's definitely garage in the delivery, punk in the attitude, country in some places, Krautrock in Davo's insistent bass lines, and spacy (or at least acid) in the guitar work of Dan Bunny and Raimondo Paolucci. All that and occasionally (and intentionally, one guesses) profoundly stupid. Just listen to the lyrics to 'Stookey Ring of Evil,' the introduction to 'Switchblade Sisters' (dedicated to all the switchblade sisters in the audience) and snippets like 'Never Did the Deed' and 'Robert Is a Corpse.' There's something worrying in hearing a band member ask 'which one?' as the drummer has already started counting. That's what happens at the beginning of ³Upland Lane' (they get it together after a false start). When they do play (and for longer than 20 seconds), the Bunny Brains can bang your head to the wall garage style ('Freshen Up!,' everything it should be) or trip with a snarl ('Overdose on Cum'). If cynical lo-fi gives you pimples, avoid at all cost. But if you crave garage punk with a tendency to foray into unusual chord changes (is it avant-garde or is the second guitarist forgetting his chords?), Holiday Massacre will bring you to your knees. Witchy Poo meets the Nihilist Spasm Band. - François Couture

(Neo-Zine) Surging experimental noise-rock, equivalent to some of the early Butthole Surfers material. Often reminds me of something that Gravitron would do. The singer is listless, and often ambles away from the intended melodies, which provides a medicated, very disconnected sort of feel to the pieces. I think that the best works on this disk are the instrumental segments which are full of negative energy and gristly vibration. Very A-typical stuff. Listening to this is like being trapped inside your brain and still not being able to find yourself. A scavenger hunt jam session for the musically mutated. - C.H.C.

(Blastitude no. 17) didn't really know what to expect from this, but it certainly wasn't this. Only other real album I've heard from these guys is the Sin Gulls one, which had clear-cut songs, production, and energy. This, on the other hand, is nothing but burnt-out lassitude translated barely into sustained psych-rock jams. Sounds like the drugs really caught up. If Liquorball tried to set a record for longest non-stop jam, this is what they'd sound like on the eighth day. The singer doesn't scream anymore, he just intermittently mumbles into the mic, using his regular voice. Someone -- a roommate, a neighbor, a parent -- has turned their amps down considerably, but they're too wasted to get up and readjust. In fact, they're all laying on the ground, barely conscious, their hands keeping the riffs going somehow as their eyes stare blankly into the ceiling. The bass player, "Davo," seems to have the most fight in him, and the drummer also might not be medicated, and the two of them keep the jams moving with harmolodic (or is just out-of-tune?) drive, keeping the door open for the other players to join or abandon the song-form at will, jabbing and weaving and missing completely as they start to trip out out on the floor. Seemingly a live show, with between-song banter and tuning-up sounds, but there really doesn't seem to be a crowd, and it doesn't matter anyway, so deep is the band and singer into their own spaced-out world. In fact, I would call it focus, and despite constant absurd asides, tuning problems, glaring mistakes, lost and aimless builds, and a general decrepit aura, this focus never wanes. Stuff like "Sister Ray" and "It's My Life" by the Animals and I swear "Dem Guten, Schoenen, Wahren" by Amon Düül II bubbles up and passes, harmolodically, and the band just keeps moving like it's not even happening. The result may be thirteen tracks but it's really one long song, deep within the zone, and I've been enjoying it a great deal. - Matt Silcock

(Shmat Recotds 3/1/2004) Holy cows. Or maybe that should be holy bunnies. This CD-R release by The Bunny Brains is either horribly bad or horribly good. I can't make up my mind. I know that I haven't listened to a really 100% experimental noise amalgamation in awhile. This certainly falls into that category. Sheesh. Try as I might, I couldn't sit still through any of the first four tracks. In fact, "Stookey Ring of Evil" contained such unbelievably bad singing that I nearly chucked it. But I'm Shorty, you know. "A reasonable guy." Give me some context and I might come around. Well, I thought I heard a little Lee Ranaldo or something in here. And sure enough, track six on this album, "Birty Doots" is actually a cover of Sonic Youth's "Dirty Boots". Well duh, you say. After that, I think I started to see how the frenetic and ungainly vocals might work with the guitar distortion and smashing drums. The bass sure is wiggly at times. Like fat white worms worms running through greasy bacon fat. Yeah. Liked the interesting record scratching on "Chocolate Party". Went back and listened to "Switchblade Sisters". That's actually not bad, in that it's a real track. What I mean is that, come on... with all that noise you need at least some semblance of songs. Otherwise you're killing off half of the 1% of the people who haven't thrown it away yet. Give 'em a bone. Make up a melody. Make a few choruses. It might help. Crazy stuff. I'm going to give this album a 3rd spin after a few weeks rest to see if I get anything further from it. Hey, don't play this on your parents' stereo though. They'll take you outside and shoot you with a sawed off shotgun. P.S. There have been a total of over FIFTY people who once played in this band. I kid you not, look at the website. - SHORTY

(Dead Angel 63) The Bunny Brains are weird -- but with their given name and what little I know of their bizarre existence so far, that's hardly surprising, eh? I have the vague feeling this is a live album (parts of it certainly are), and "Freshen Up" certainly lives up to the idea: lo-fi, live-sounding, and extremely devolved, it starts out sounding like the band's tuning up (and they may well be) and gradually evolves into howling kitchen-sink psychedelia. Not the psych, mind you, of guys in paisley shirts who take big tabs o' acid and play flowery epics about the summer of luv, but the scary kind -- unpredictable freakouts from guys so strange that it's frequently hard to tell whether they're serious or pulling your leg. Either way, it's pretty out there (but still surprisingly listenable). At times they remind me of Beme Seed minus the shamanistic goddess thing and with a strange sense of humor. Psychedelic punk shenanigans, titles like "Harm is comin' to me every day in every way," "Overdose of cum," and "Robert is a corpse," weird noises and deviant sounds harnessed in the name of punk, psych, and funk... sounds like a good time to me.... - RKF

(Music Extreme) “Freshen Up” opens up this album with a climatic intro that reminded me to King Crimson because of all the textures delivered. Everything here is a combination of a rock and pop attitude with pure experimentation. Then you have tunes like “Stookey Ring of Evil” where a melancholic voice delivers melodies over an acoustic guitar that soon gets more distorted and clashes with dissonances against the bottom line. There are parts where the rhythm section enters adding an hypnotic rhythm that then is completely twisted and transformed by the different arrangements. Everything here has a lot of originality and each tune has its own identity, being completely different from the previous one. Lovers of experimentation should check this release. - Federico Marongiu

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