Artist: The Bunny The Bear
Album: A Liar Wrote This
Victory Records’ The Bunny The Bear have always been known for pushing the envelope with their brand of eclectic, pop-infused electronic rock/metal. Even before they signed to Victory Records, they found success when they released their debut, self-titled album. Announced alongside the equally odd Victorian Halls, it didn’t take long to realize that you either will love this band or hate them. While both bands found themselves on the receiving end of a lot of hate, there was even more love as they finally released their Victory Records debut, If You Don’t Have Anything to Say… in 2010. Fans found an equilibrium that was nearly untouched between Matt Tybor (The Bunny) and Chris Hutka (The Bear). With the departure of Chris as “The Bear,” though… fans began to wonder what would happen to the band. Luckily, in 2014, that question was answered with the addition of Haley Roback as the new Bear. Adding a female vocalist to the fold was a risky move but there is a dynamic between Tybor and Roback that certainly speaks to itself throughout their recently released 5th studio album, A Liar Wrote This. In fact, you can tell that it brought out a new wave of energy in the band! Does A Liar Wrote This stack up to its predecessor, Food Chain, though? Well… let’s examine that further.
Lyrically, this is Tybor at a very dark point in his life. That being said, he’s found a way to weave beauty from the tangled web of devastation that he’s faced. This album isn’t for the faint of heart as it takes us into a very dark place in Tybor’s head. Harmony is a key trait in this band and the harmonies have never been stronger in this band than they have with Tybor and Roback. Add in some haunting keyboard parts, a lot of electronics and an incredible amount of emotion and you’ve got yourself a recipe for A Liar Wrote This. While this album is, understandably, a little lighter on the music side, it’s more emotional than anything Tybor has ever created in his career. This band has such an incredible way of evoking emotion, sending the listener on an emotional rollercoaster ride through Tybor’s psyche. While you can tell that these lyrics were likely incredibly hard to write at times, they’ve certainly cemented A Liar Wrote This as one of, if not THE strongest, TBTB release to date.
What people may not know is that Tybor and Hutka started another project called “A Liar Wrote This Symphony.” Some of the songs on A Liar Wrote This have been given a new awakening, being brought to life in the perfect light. Both Tybor and Roback give incredible vocal performances but none more beautiful than what you’ll hear in “Empty Eyes,” which brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. “And was I really that mistake that made you hate yourself and give up on me? I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please don’t give up on me!” These lyrics speak to what it’s like when a relationship has reached it’s inevitable end, no matter how much you beg for it not to be true. You can really tell that Tybor had a tough time writing this one, as his voice shakes quite a bit.
Musically, “Lover’s Touch” sounds like a fun song. In reality, it hits on the mass amount of struggle that Tybor faced when the inevitable happened. Constantly fighting, all the while hurting their son and wanting it all to end… one way or another. “I’m aware you’re in need and you’re counting on me. Why waste living on the likes of me? Save conscience for the slaughtered sheep!” Tybor yells as the realization hits him and anger swallows him whole. As the anger swims inside of him, lust overtakes him next and these words hit your ears “In the backseat, you can find me with my lover. Just a crutch for the night, her heart flutters at the drop of a dime. And when the night is young, I’ve had my fun, I’ll hold her far and tight!” The vocal exchange between The Bunny and The Bear on these lyrics is chilling to the bone. This is a man overtaken by hurt, using lust as a solution to his problems.
One of the most lyrically-depressing, yet musically beautiful songs on the album is “Dead Leaves.” This seems to be Tybor at rock bottom and it really shows. I can’t describe how much this song brings tears to my eyes, chills to my spine and breaks my heart. All I want is to reach out to him and tell him that it will be alright, that everything happens for a reason and that all will be well in the end.
A Liar Wrote This shows a strong maturation in the band as a whole. The fact that Tybor was able to come together with Roback and create such a solid release, despite the many hardships he faced speaks volumes about his character. The dynamic between the two alone makes this one of my favorite The Bunny The Bear releases to date. While most bands want to keep their personal lives out of the limelight, Tybor and Roback absolutely embrace the devastation and turn it into something even more beautiful than I could have imagined. That’s why A Liar Wrote This is worth your time. Go pick it up, out on Victory Records now!
“It’s Not Always Cold In Buffalo (Revisited)” (Official Music Video)
“Lover’s Touch” (Official Music Video)
The Bunny The Bear is:
Matthew Tybor – The Bunny
Haley Roback – The Bear