Album Review: Dropbunny IO
Band: Dropbunny (Australia)
Album: IO (2011)
“Are there bands that sound like Slipknot?” Has for long been an unanswered question. However, with the following description, Dropbunny certainly made me think I found the answer: “Ferocious Melbourne seven-piece dropbunny have returned with their highly anticipated second album, “IO”. (…) Continually pushing their musicality to new heights, dropbunny supplement their crushing guitars, mind-bending rhythms and roaring vocals with violins, sitars, xylophones and electronics, including ad-hoc instruments made from rat traps, fish tank motors, and a power saw. This combines to make a furious yet eerie psychotropic landscape that explores the darker side of the human psyche.”
Well, while rereading that statement, I get a more Experimental Metal feeling, but in the end my intuition proved to be right: I got myself a Slipknot-copy. Bands copying other bands are generally considered a no-go, but in this case, it is kind of justified, since Dropbunny are kind of original in copying Slipknot. I’m not 100% certain, but I think no other band has dared to do this, and Dropbunny does display some courage here.
Now to come to the album here, this copying doesn’t go that far, but there are a lot of similarities. Like many of Slipknots albums, this album encompasses about an hour of playing time. That wasn’t too much of a good sign for me, with my general dislike for lengthy albums (although I do have something even lengthier coming up, something which I totally adore). It’s nothing of a surprise that this album spent a long time waiting in my iTunes, with some albums surpassing it. I just couldn’t face the image I had of this album: a lengthy, nothing more than average piece of Alternative trash.
Finally, I decided to dive in, and found that Dropbunny explore a more experimental side of Slipknot Metal. It seems to grab influences from everywhere, Progressive, Experimental, Nu Metal, it’s all one big mash up. Musically, the music is alright in general. There are some good songs on here, like Jumped, a softer song; Hits Limbo From A Great Height, which shows a really distinct Progressive Rock influence. IO certainly has character and on top it conveys its hate very well
The drums on this album are high up in the mix, and they are sterile and quite tight. Generally characterised by Rap Metal beats, they form a solid, but somewhat boring base for the music.
The guitars are innovative, more Jazzy than Metal-like, but shamefully, they are quite low in the mix, and tent to be drowned out by drowned in drums and vocals. It’s kind of a pity since they are actually one of the bigger positive points on the album, with their raw riffing, and smart rhythm work.
The vocals are a bit of a letdown here. The singer simply bleached out by the comparison made to Corey Taylor, which is enhanced by a similar style of singing. What really stood out was the fact that the harsh vocals were softer than the clean vocals, which enhanced the feeling that the whole album was a bit of a non-fitting puzzle. Adding to this are the lyrics, which tend to be good, but from time to time they are so cliché that I almost fall of my chair.
In conclusion, IO is a very decent album. Highlights include the good use of different sounds and sound effects, good guitar work and some well-written songs. However, Dropbunny seems to be stuck in their Slipknot-framework, in which the framework is more beautiful than the actual piece of art.
To end, Dropbunny are a very promising band. Songs like Hits Limbo From A Great Height, show that they have potential to step outside of the framework and do something that is innovative. For fans of Slipknot, this album is certainly worth a buy, since it contains some good material. People who are looking for something solid, well-written and pleasant to hear, might want to look somewhere else though.
[I included one video, but you can also download a 4-song sampler, and also their debut album Hypothesis from Dropbunny’s website.]
My Grade: 7.5+/10
Buy this when:
- you like Slipknot
- you like experimental stuff