There’s something filthy about Raspberry Bulbs’ music, and it’s always been that way. Casual mentions of cracked flesh, abnormalities, groping an angel’s face run rampant through the discography. These are titles to make you puke, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Their new record, and second on Blackest Ever Black, seems to draw less on the gross out factor, and more on the hidden uncanny, with titles like “Light Surrounds Me,” “How the Strings are Pulled,” and various mostly instrumental, meditative tracks titled in Roman numerals. These are new members of the Raspberry Bulbs canon. Where before an album like Deformed Worship would be a straight, concise launch through blackened punk, Privacy takes on a more cinematic, pensive feel.
That’s not to say that any vitriolic focus is gone from previous work. The songs that sound like classic Raspberry Bulbs are a perfect return to form, though with a bit of a jump in production. In other words, for such a dirty band, Raspberry Bulbs has never sounded cleaner (And yes, I’ve been waiting to use such a contrived line for description, so rats off to you, Raspberry Bulbs). There’s still an anguish in Marco Del Rio’s voice - drawn out howls play counterpoint to semi-automatic build ups of vocal spat. The addition of Ning Nong as drummer continues to be a great move, as rhythms continue to sound impressive and articulate, but there are more people on this release, and as much as I have liked two-person black metal-influenced bands, this record does sound more full. For instance, on “Big Grin,” the song’s foundation is a strangely groovy bassline, which simply would not have existed in previous Raspberry Bulbs iterations, but it sounds maybe even more menacing than anything that has come before, not to mention it’s the one song that breaks the five-minute mark.
So there’s more variety, though no diminish in venom. I mean, shit, why waste your time and mine? It’s a Raspberry Bulbs record. It’s fucking great and you should pick it up.