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Old 04-05-2011, 05:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nuclear Rabbit - Vicuna (1997) [SAA Album Club discussion thread]

Nuclear Rabbit - Vicuna (1997)


This album was among suggestions for a long time and the time has finally come to listen to it and discuss it. It was recommended by Mrd00d. I hope he's still around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrd00d View Post
I think this will be the time and place to nominate Nuclear Rabbit's first release Vicuna. It's available in all the usual internet places and on their website/the bassist's website (jeanbaudin) so despite being generally unheard of, they're not nobodies. They left a noticeable mark on California, at least, as well as attaining a worldwide audience (ya know, here and there).

I think it would be best described as a red-headed stepchild of Mr. Bungle. A kind of experimental thing. Really great lyrics when you catch them. The band knows what they're doing with their instruments. Their range of sounds is impressive. Hear it to understand. They are unique. Lyrics, photos, etc. at nuclearrabbit.co.uk as well (fansite)
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your typical 90s Oakland avant-rock band output. Yet, nowhere near the works Idiot Flesh, Bungle, Secret Chiefs, or Estradasphere. Suppose sort of a punkier more accessible rendition of what Mr.Bungle was doing with their self entitled album. Yet, it loses a notch due to the fact it takes away that rebellious spirit by being a tad bit more fan friendly.

Voted it average, cause that's the way I heard.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The Red Hot Chili Peppers trying to sound like the Boredoms. Crap.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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With 80 minutes of original, solid material, I find it hard to believe there isn't something enjoyable here, but that's not the first time I've heard that and I can live with it. As long as you give it a chance to stand on its own, it should.

I must argue that the bassist and the drummer are phenomenal musicians. I drool over the drums and Jean on bass does some jaw-dropping basslines...The vocals are love em or hate em, and I love Greg's tweaked out insanity with Jean's backup grunts.

This album jumps all over the place, sounds wise and there are a lot of songs that tell stories... abstract stories. The Moth-Chew-Moth interludes are spastic reworks of the same tune, but make for good interludes.

We get a surf-rock ska-like opening with Secretly Meaty before some insanity starts to break through. Return for a verse, and nice spazz out and bridge.

Soup is an ode to soup rife with time changes and the breakdown where I presume theres some snorting of some drugs going on before returning for a guitar solo and back to hook. Playful, corny, having fun... being savages on their respective instruments.

Spork is a funky, angry head-noddy tune

Phat Pig Phong should scare your grandmother. Kind of sounds like grandmother....

Cross Dress Crusade opens with some amazing instrumentation and Greg jumps right on top with wacky, fast-paced lyrics, quick breakdown, and back in and madness.

Franchise introduces Francois, a recurring character in their works. He's not a good fella.

Little Squirrel and His Crack Pipe starts out like Macy Gray and works its way into another insane passage filled with drums-lead chaos. Love the drums on this track.

Family Jamboree, another sweet, loving interlude

Bowling For Midgets tells a heartwarming story about midget bowling and so on; Jean delivers one of the catchiest bass riffs on the album here. Bouncy.

Sadboy is one of my favorites; I try to sing along but its very hard to keep pace with him at times. "Lectern's legato but I'm the legatee of leeward lechery" was one of the strangest out of there. Drums here put me in a special place [breakdown]

Gazelle, won't you stay for dinner? You'll be my special guest! I won't take no for an answer, Kill the beast! It's good fun. Really takes you into this forested castle/cabin setting. Sweet bass riff, as usual (gave it some extra volume towards the end)

Santa Claus is Selling Crack has always been on my very small list of acceptable XMas songs. Ahh.... very enjoyable lyrics as far as I'm concerned, really dig the instrumentation. Pisses off people with proper spirit during the holidays. It's fantastic...

Supermarket was always a mediocre track, but my friends mom fell in love with it >.> thought that was funny. Carrots, zucchini, tampons, and film! "I saw James Hetfield at the supermarket."

Subliminal Smurf is a touching song about trying to get with Smurfette, not wanting to be human. Fantastic instrumentation.

Chernobyl Hampster opens with beautiful drum and bass. Pat on guitar lays down a smooth guitar riff with the bass is getting slapped pretty hard. The story of a super-hampster after getting radioactive superintelligence from Chernobyl. Cool story ;D

Rice-a-Roni the San Francisco Treat? I don't know if this song came on everyone's album, it's a bonus track I believe.

Three Legged Bunny starts off slow, and ends fast.

Parkay is a butter vs Parkay argument, Parkay seems to win.

Cup O' Maggots is a fun fast-paced instrumental ride

Molly Ringworm is the story of a grungy, nasty, crazy old lady that frequently rode their bus line. Opens up with mean licks and thrashy drums before going thrash-funky

Realities and Misconceptions of the Hair Club for Men is a goofy track, with a weird little guitar solo coming out of nowhere. Love how they made tracks about nothing sound so good.

Dead Things Come in Pairs is an outro-esque, completely deranged track. Screaming bandmates in the background while the vocalist chants "I've found god, and god was laughing". VI-CUNA! Whatever that means. Drummer is taking charge here.

Acid Chicken is a very solid track, though why it's at the end I'm not sure.

The order of the tracks perplexes me. This being their first album, with this much material, and having such a great way of working together, I have to give this a Very Good rating. It might not be for everyone, but I can guarantee listening to it with a playful, perhaps slightly insane viewpoint will offer you some smiles and some solid head nodding.

I've seen them perform live a handful of times, I've heard all their work hundreds of times, so I know I'm biased coming in here commenting on my own suggestion and rating it... I just hope theres someone that found it entertaining enough to enjoy. Nuclear Rabbit adds a certain level of happiness that I haven't found anywhere else, not even with Mike Patton's works. For all the love of the influences that inspired Rabbit I have, I hold Rabbit so dearly to my heart.

I'll be back in here to edit some of the song 'reviews' I did, as some of them were hastily done. Long album.

Also, for anyone interested: Nuclear Rabbit Fansite - Lyrics

P.S. My internet got shut off for the last 2 weeks and I popped back on and saw the discussion thread
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Last edited by Mrd00d; 04-06-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I wanted to /bump this for more responses maybe, but also had been thinking about these two comments and I decided I did have something to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skaligojurah View Post
Your typical 90s Oakland avant-rock band output. Yet, nowhere near the works Idiot Flesh, Bungle, Secret Chiefs, or Estradasphere. Suppose sort of a punkier more accessible rendition of what Mr.Bungle was doing with their self entitled album. Yet, it loses a notch due to the fact it takes away that rebellious spirit by being a tad bit more fan friendly.

Voted it average, cause that's the way I heard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk View Post
The Red Hot Chili Peppers trying to sound like the Boredoms. Crap.
I heard Mr. Bungle first, and particularly their more 'off the wall' "Egg", Ma Meeshka Ma Skwoz" "Squeeze Me Macaroni" "Desert Search for Techno Allah" "Carousel" and really enjoyed that unique sound. I found some sort of bond with the eccentricity and playfulness in the music, akin to Zappa perhaps.

I discovered Nuclear Rabbit in 2001, with their 3rd (and seemingly last) album. I immediately had the other two albums available to me through my friend that introduced me in the first place and listened to those as well... Fell in love with all their work. We went and saw them live upwards of ten times in the next four years.

I discovered Secret Chiefs 3, Idiot Flesh, and Estradasphere [from Florida I believe] around 2007... through Last.fm related artists with Nuclear Rabbit. My impression of Estradasphere was that they were all right, Secret Chiefs are amazing and unique in their own right, and I had/have trouble getting into Idiot Flesh. I like them but honestly haven't listened to half of their work yet.

My impression was that Nuclear Rabbit was truly unique and that there are no other bands that sound just like they do.

I looked at a lot of their related artists... Dog Fashion Disco, Alter Boys, Tub Ring, Polkadot Cadaver... some very interesting, different, and I guess that's why they're related.... unique red-headed stepchildren of the Mr Bungle, Infectious Grooves, Red Hot Chili Peppers influence.
Although Nuclear Rabbit claims/does have a lot of soul/pop influence too apparently. I thought they were kidding, but in reflection I can see it in play, an acknowledgement.

I don't know The Boredoms. I have a feeling if you say one of my favorite bands is trying to 'be' them, I'd probably like that so thanks for the recommendation OccultHawk. But, honestly, they are unique and I must disagree with your comment that they are wannabe anyones. I just about beg of you to listen to the album front to back once more and tell me that again because its not true. At the very least, inspired by would be the appropriate term to use?

I think Rabbit was influenced by 90s sounds such as this:
Infectious Grooves - Monster Skank


Anyway, hope to get some discussion going.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't believe Bungle are nearly as inventive of a band as they're made out to be either. I mean, give the 70s swedish prog band "Samla Mammas Manna" a listen if you do:



With that said, I think it gives bands like Estradasphere, Tub Ring, and even Dog Fashion Disco a little bit of room to breathe. However, even as somebody who is a large defender against the 'Bungle knockoff!!! durr!!!!" people, this album even got a bit iffy with the parallels to the self entitled Bungle album than any listed before.

It's not bad, but it just feels like a commercialization, and oversimplification of their sound. I'd actually defend Estradasphere for doing the opposite, and pushing the instrumental virtuosity envelope a tad further.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
I don't believe Bungle are nearly as inventive of a band as they're made out to be either.
Amen.

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I just about beg of you to listen to the album front to back once more and tell me that again because its not true
I gave that album a fair listen and I've taken the time to listen to and comment on every album that has won the vote here. Looking back, I think the only ones you've commented on are this and Phew. Even though I think it's crap, I still think it was a fun selection. It's gonna be awhile before this CDR rotates around to the top of my collection again but if I remember I'll bump this thread when it does.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Amen.



I gave that album a fair listen and I've taken the time to listen to and comment on every album that has won the vote here. Looking back, I think the only ones you've commented on are this and Phew. Even though I think it's crap, I still think it was a fun selection. It's gonna be awhile before this CDR rotates around to the top of my collection again but if I remember I'll bump this thread when it does.
I've done more than Phew, thanks, but admittedly stopped visiting because I couldn't keep up with listening, especially multiple album clubs and real world ish.

I was pretty embarrassed about the submission after hearing true avant-garde bands such as Phew and Alva Noto. I came in to add my piece on it anyway, since its time had come to add our thoughts on the album.

I appreciate your time.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I was pretty embarrassed about the submission after hearing true avant-garde bands such as Phew and Alva Noto.
Eh, you should have heard AMM.

But really, this avant-garde tag is meant to be more like guideline for us to suggest more adventurous music. Not everything has to be "real" avant-garde.

Anyway, I've listened to this album, but haven't found the time to really dive into it and dissect it. I'll write more about it tomorrow.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dankrsta View Post
Eh, you should have heard AMM.

But really, this avant-garde tag is meant to be more like guideline for us to suggest more adventurous music. Not everything has to be "real" avant-garde.

Anyway, I've listened to this album, but haven't found the time to really dive into it and dissect it. I'll write more about it tomorrow.
Right on... I've actually listened to AMMusic but haven't done a response STILL... I had skipped Keiji but downloaded it and still intend on listening and responding. I basically plan on catching up to current on this and one or two other album clubs almost all at once.
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