Just another one the countless metalcore bands on the Victory Records roster, The Bunny The Bear have churned out an album every year since their self-titled debut in 2010, despite numerous line-up changes. Matthew Tybor (or, The Bunny) remains as the sole original member and continues as the music composer, lyricist, and harsh vocalist for album number six.
Incredibly, ‘A Liar Wrote This’ is the first album that doesn’t feature Chris Hutka (‘The Bear’) on clean vocals, even though he repeatedly left the band and had two different ‘Bears’ replace him during different absences. For the first time, The Bear position is undertaken by a lady (‘The Bearess’?), with Haley Roback taking singing duties in a welcome experiment. Still, it’s not enough to stand out from the crowd.
‘A Liar Wrote This’ has taken a slight change of direction from The Bunny The Bear norm, which was desperately needed. Roback proves her true ability on the likes of ‘Empty Hands’ and ‘Love, Trust And Compromise’, and generally compliments Tybor very well. However, as can be the case with this band, it all seems too much at times.
‘Curtain Call’ is far too over the top, and just feels like the two vocalists are trying to outdo each other with neither coming out with much dignity at the end. A revisited version of ‘It’s Not Always Cold In Buffalo’ from 2013’s ‘Stories’ showcases Roback on lead vocals and proves what ‘The Bearess’ is capable of. This girl has got some serious pipes, but they really aren’t suited for this rough, electronic form of post-hardcore/metalcore.
Devout fans of The Bunny The Bear can’t be too disappointed with 2015’s offering; there’s enough fodder to keep them happy for at least the rest of the year in ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Motions’. Whether Roback will be The Bear for the job on next year’s inevitable release is anyone’s guess, but a different path has done some good for the New York band, and it has at least provided a nice break from the standard album routine if that’s all it was.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. | Aspiring freelance pizza eater.