[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
TRACK LIST: 1. Trance AM 5:05 2. Hopkins' Jig 3:54 3. Flesh & Bones 4:15 4. Missing Sparks 4:20 5. Konijntje Dat Danst 3:49 6. Swirldown 2:41 7. Swimming Upstream 3:58 8. Roswell Black Box 1:45 9. The Blast of the Mohicans 3:13 10. In & Out 4:16 11. Sad Drunks' Orchestra 2:32 12. Rockwood 3:41 13. Wnutt 2:08 14. In Vain 2:25 SOLO PILOT: Vladimir Skokovich – guitars; keyboards; electronic drums
Prolusion. SCARED BUNNY is the brainchild of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Vladimir Skokovich, and "Rockwood" is the second album he has released using this moniker, following 5 years after the debut album "Disturbia". His most recent effort was recorded during 2007, and released in May 2008.
Analysis. Scared Bunny – a somewhat odd choice of for an artist's name; that was the first thought that struck me when I saw this CD. After getting familiar with it and then trying to find suitable descriptions of its contents, well, at that moment the choice of this artistic name suddenly felt like a perfect match. The 14 compositions here are a mixed bag in many ways, with some common traits shared and many details and nuances that aren't, and although all of them are of a similar style and share a certain approach, there's enough variety on this album to not fit a general description easily. And yeah, I do feel like a scared bunny when trying to piece this together, at least to a certain extent. There's a distinct German E-music influence to the compositions here, for starters. Minimalist thematic explorations are a constant feature throughout the album, with a certain ‘70s tinge to them that fans of so-called krautrock will be instantly familiar with. This aspect of the songs, as indeed most other aspects, is produced by the guitar. The mostly multilayered tunes mix several approaches in each and every song, and one of these layers consists of this kind of minimalistic theme repeated, explored and to a certain extent evolved in some cases. Another facet with a distinct ‘krautrock’ tinge to it are layers of noise - highly distorted, drawn-out guitar chords producing a sonic wall woven in between the other layers, forming the melodies conveyed, although this element might in this case just as well be traced back to early industrial rock, or perhaps Mr. Skokovich draws his influence from both styles. Although this specific element isn't a dominant feature in a purified form, it is highly effectively used on tracks like Swimming Upstream. But the occasional burst of dissonant noise from guitars or effect pedals is more of a regular happening on this album, utilized as a means of adding surprising elements to the themes explored. On a few songs, Swirldown and The Blast of the Mohicans especially, we get treated to basic, aggressive riff patterns that wouldn't have sounded out of place performed by a punk band as part of the composition. Imagine that - progressive punk rock. And all of these elements are mixed in with a very ‘70s-sounding form of psychedelic garage rock, with rough sounding riff patterns and drawn out guitar chords, as well as mellow or melodic clean guitar licks with a distinct psychedelic flavor to them, and also more or less highly distorted guitar solos as elements on quite a few songs; and with some bits of space rock thrown in for good measure now and then too. Ash Ra Temple is mentioned as a specific influence for Scared Bunny, and if one can imagine it playing with a band like Lime Spiders – if anyone remember them – then you'll probably get a slight idea of what the songs on this CD sound like. As far as short descriptions go, I'd suggest psychedelic experimental ‘krautrock’ as a possible tag for this album. Most of the compositions are quite intriguing, though: Amidst the sonic experiments, minimalist explorations and dissonant textures, mood and melody have not been forgotten, and quite a few of them are well worth experiencing. The production, deliberately basic sounding at times, may actually be the most off-putting aspect of this release for some, although it fits the music as such perfectly.
Conclusion. Liberal-minded fans of instrumental krautrock might find this to be an intriguing purchase, and people in search of unique sounding rock music of an experimental variety will also have a good chance of striking gold if they decide to check this one out. A quite fascinating production this one is, but hard to describe in an accurate manner.
OMB: September 29, 2008
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]