“IO” by dropbunny is unlike anything I’ve heard in a long time. It’s harsh, heavy, intelligent, ever changing and unsettling; light acoustic sections give way to detuned heavy parts, which then defer to atmospheric soundscapes, and a whole host of other styles. The 7 piece band from Melbourne has clearly set out to challenge the listener through their uncompromising music and angry, cynical and sometimes downright surreal lyrics; they certainly won’t go easy on you.
To categorise dropbunny is nigh-on impossible but there are elements of metal, post metal, math rock, hardcore and avant garde in the mix. Nothing is ever quite as it seems because just as you find yourself settling into a particular song or style, everything changes. In fact, the consistent theme throughout is change.
The band’s website defines a dropbunny as:
‘..a trickster spirit or demon, appearing in the form of a green rabbit, known for taking possession of humans and causing terrifying visions’, or ‘a form of mental illness similar to schizophrenia, often causing auditory and visual hallucinations’, both of which serve nicely (in part) as descriptions of the band’s music. It never allows itself to dwell on the same theme for too long, choosing instead to flit mercurially from idea to musical idea.
dropbunny set out their stall right from the off with the post metal/hardcore “Plummet”, followed by the big detuned sound of “Irredeemably Fucked”, sounding a bit like a Deftones riff with a groove and featuring the wryly confrontational line ‘There’s a message on my knuckles I’d like you to read’.
Next is “CDFA” with math rock underpinnings, complex guitar and bass riff, shouted vocals and genuinely odd lyrics. This is followed by the sonic vignette of “Portrait Of A Young Man As A Shithead”. Only four songs into the eighteen on the album and already the listener is disorientated and off-balance. The band’s claim to ‘create angst-ridden psychotropic landscapes’ seems a pretty fair description.
The cacophony of “Inchoate”, the mesmeric drone of “Another Lost Kid” and the complex rhythm of the final song, “There’s Nothing Here And It Screams” all provide a remarkably different listening experience, unified by an impossible to categorise ethic.
One thing is certain, and that is dropbunny will not pander to what’s expected, nor will they go easy on an audience. Instead, they create angry, sometimes playful, sometimes unsettling music. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I’m sure that won’t bother them one iota; they’re doing their own thing in their own way, and you’re either along for the ride or you can take a safer route. It just depends on how open minded you are, how much you want to be challenged and whether or not you’re prepared to take a chance on something just a little bit out of the ordinary.