Bulbul 6 CD - Exile on Mainstream

There are about 130 different species of bulbuls, perching songbirds known for their adaptation to human's destruction of their habitats. There about just as many style changes on Bulbul 6, the latest album from Austria's avant-pop ensemble Bulbul. Over the course of 15 songs, the band conjures everything from the noisy rock of The Jesus Lizard and Big Black to the dance-crunch of Mr. Bungle and early Nine Inch Nails. Bulbul's live show is equally eclectic and involves a wardrobe of costumes approaching Peter Gabriel territory. Guitarist/vocalist Raumschiff Engelmayr launched the group as a one man band in the late 1990s, and has since expanded the group into a trio and released an iceberg of albums, only a few of which are easily appropriated. Bulbul 6 bounces song by song from fuzzed out pop numbers ("When Sun Comes Out," "Lack of The Key," "Tighten," "Daddy Was a Girl I Liked") to chaotic sound textures with occasional syncopated outbursts ("Shuguang ," "Tighter," "Changzheng," "Das Stuck"). The vocals are low and subdued, murky in even the shiniest of riffs. Bulbul has plenty of catchy hooks but their arrangements are alienating to all but the most open-minded music aficionados. This is a musician's record put out by a musician's band. (Nick DeMarino)



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