Thursday, August 14, 2008
The Residents - "The Bunny Boy"
Reviewing a Residents release is not an easy task. After nearly 4 decades (!), the group continues to confound fans and maintain their profile far outside of the mainstream - despite their outright lampooning of that very pop culture.
'The Bunny Boy' seems to be a concept album about a misfit boy who posts videos on the internet as a plea to find his missing brother. Told through a series of surreal musical vignettes, the Residents' synthesize aspects of all sorts of pop musics - from rock to electronic to symphonic to hip-hop, but never actually become anything but Residents, if that makes any sense. Truly masters of their own particular arcane craft, the very theatrical eyeball-headed ones paint odd visual images in song form unlike anyone before or since.
Seriously, I can't decipher any possible lineage here, and dare I even try? Imagine, if you will, Frank Zappa, Devo, Captain Beefheart, prog-rock, industrial, kraut...I give up. I admit to not having much of an extensive Residents knowledge, having only heard a few select LPs from way back in the 70's-80's, but 'Bunny Boy', to me, is a highly theatrical and idiosyncratic album of pop tunes that may confuse you (and me). It's an enjoyable listen and very well-presented - even if you don't bother with the story and just listen passively. And they're doing a world tour starting in October, so if they're coming to your town, I'd guarantee a multimedia experience like you've never seen! (MVD Audio / The Cryptic Corporation / Mute)