In 2011, Marco Del Rio, better known under his pseudonym 'He Who Crushes Teeth' in the Ildjarn-worshipping ultra-primitive black metal outfit Bone Awl, released his first solo album 'Nature Tries Again' under the guise of Raspberry Bulbs. The demos in the years before the debut were still very much rooted in the primitive sounds of Bone Awl, but gradually there was a shift towards something much more different than that. Something much more rooted in noiserock and garagerock. And while the debut album was a solo affair, Raspberry Bulbs was fleshed out to a five-piece for their follow up, 2013's 'Deformed Worship'. Now, a year later, with still the same line-up, the monster that is 'Privacy' is unleashed upon the world..
And not much has changed. 'Deformed Worship' already marked the transition to full-blown noiserock and 'Privacy' follows in the same vein. Once again packaged in a dirty pink sleeve, the music is equally dirty, punkish noiserock with Del Rio's barked, semi-black metal rasps. There are still shades of Bone Awl present, especially in the delivery. Like Bone Awl, Raspberry Bulbs choose to have their sound dirty, unpolished and with a very 'live' sounding production. It feels as though they are rehearsal recordings, albeit with a much better mix. It's not really fair comparing this to Bone Awl, because that band has been on-hold since 2011 and Raspberry Bulbs is very much Del Rio's focus now. But the whole DIY approach to the artwork, the existentialist poetry of the lyrics and the rawness is something that both bands share. Just don't expect any black metal, apart from the vocal delivery.
The 8 tracks on 'Privacy' are interspersed with creepy, soundscape-like ambient parts that do a lot to enhance the experience. All the songs are quite brief, and the whole records breezes by in almost 33 minutes. It has a very strange way, like the Raspberry Bulbs albums before it, to get under your skin in a matter of minutes. The intensity, the rawness, the honesty and sincerety of it is very addictive and I don't know, but it all sounds so much more 'real' than any other music I can think of. It also has this provocative and thought-provoking edge to it, something that is lacking so much in most music nowadays. I can't really put my finger on it, but it is definitely much, much more clever than it appears to be on the first listen.
With the year coming to an end soon, I can safely say that this is a sure contender for the top ranks of the 'album of the year' list. Like the previous albums (and all Bone Awl releases for that matter), a must-have..