Raspberry Bulbs “Deformed Worship”
Black/Punk hybrid Raspberry Bulbs from Brooklyn, New York have been stirring waters murky waters in the underground for a couple years now, thus making a name for themselves in both metal and punk communities. Taking heavy influence from Bone Awl, Ildjarn, and (what I assume) an extensive catalogue of 80’s hardcore/Punk and even Post-Punk/Goth-Rock, the New Yorkers weld an interesting sonic structure that digs far deeper than contemporaries of the genre have ever imagined to excavate. Featuring He Who Crushes Teeth (of Bone Awl infamy), RB combine the ugliness and crude-nature of low-fidelity Black Metal with a raw, stomping nature and a reckless prose. Tracks like “Crackled Flesh” romp and trample the listener while incorporating interesting lead-work that was seldom featured in past releases. These leads are akin to many gothic/post-punk groups with their noodling presence and eerie structure, adding a refreshing flavor to the hardened and pounding sound RB had previously been dependent on. However, songs like “Before Man”, “When a Lie Becomes the Truth”, and “Standing in Line” stick strongly to the “traditional” formula and are solid tracks in their own right. The atmosphere throughout the entire listen is high energy and the improved production quality gives each instrument space to breathe and leave their own important mark on the album. The guitar in particular has a bright, bouncing tone that fits perfectly with the new emphasis on leads, and the bass fills the voids left open with the signature booming tone. Vocally this record isn’t much different than previous efforts aside from the heavier emphasis on “singing” (and I use that term very loosely) which can be heard clearest in “Wild Inside” during the chorus and “I Was Wrong” for a majority of the song. For the most part, however, the vocals are drunken slurs straight from the throat and have stayed rooted in the Black Metal side of the sound. The skins are handled marvelously in minimal fashion and keep the band focused as the pieces flow from movement-to-movement. “Groping the Angels Face” is a personal favorite for this exact reason...from the get-go the band jumps into arguably the “catchiest” riff of 2013 with the drums flaring in a true Punk fashion (bouncing from d-beats to tom-fills), encompassing the entire RB methodology into one 3:01 slab of music. “Deformed Worship” finishes off with “I Was Wrong”, a song that (as previously mentioned) features an emphasis on blurred singing and ends strong with a second-wind, building to a dramatic climax that is guaranteed to put a wretched smile on any sick face. Demented and raw, RB have put together a release that will grace many “Top Records of 2013” list(mine included), and is a testament to the versatility of the Black/Punk genre. Not everything needs to sound like Bone Awl, and Raspberry Bulbs will be remembered as an original player in this exciting style for years to come.