Vinnys Brown Bunny is the creative endeavor of Eric Pulgino (Hairy Italian) and David Metzler (Pale WASP). Since 2011 they have been making music and they added a couple of friends including Tod Hough, Jeff Malpezzi and Caleb Pogyor for their most recent record entitled Monster. According to their bio, conceptually the album is “based off of faith in God/Gods, faith in man/men, and mainly three books by Cormac McCarthy; Blood Meridian, The Road, and No Country For Old Men.” Musically, they are diverse and delve into rock, a wee bit of folk, as well as a couple of places in between. The songs more often than not are well written with only a couple of lulls.
One thing that would have helped the music is the quality. They were a number of points especially the more chaotic points where someone a bit more versed on engineering could have helped out their cause. Sometimes the vocals don't blend well into the music and when the distortion is applied and drums are hit hard it sounds more akin to a ball of white noise.
Their best moments are usually piano lead songs where the vocalist baritone is fully audible. Even the acoustic numbers are little treats that sound good because they have a lot of space but don't require a lot of time behind the board.
The album opens with “the kyrie,” which is an instrumental track that utilizes distant sounding guitars, brush work on snare drum, bass and piano. It’s a lonely tune that emits feelings of isolation as if you are walking down the open road by yourself. “blood meridian - act I” is a highlight and I loved the way it opened. The vocalist has a deep baritone almost Tom Waits-esque voice as piano and guitar create a spacious canvas for him to riff over. A little over a minute the song goes into rock mode. It’s not a bad turn because it’s brief. “blood meridian - act II” is a substantial song that is accessible. It follows melodic guitar grooves, a solid vocal melody and overall good structure. “yn Ra” is arguably the best song on the album. It’s an acoustic number that is very quiet and subdued but also emotionally resonant. The lyrics avoid clichés as the vocalist sings “There is a sea where we float like wooden things lowered in tight with golden treads and lines, tears fall loose with empty bottles of wine that let the light turn blue.” “no country for old men - act II” had some creative vocal harmonies while “the road - act II” revolves around a lead bluesy guitar part and howling vocals.
The album ends with the centerpiece “angus del.” It is a grandiose song that reaches and reaches until it eventually fades out leaving a vocal sample of an extremely intelligent young child.
The album is far from perfect but has great themes and a number of songs that you won't want to miss. It is recommended.
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