What does that song mean?

Let’s Go to the Hop - Ignore That Door’s Four Bunnies and a Beatbox

Posted Jun 15th, 16:16 by Penguin Pete

 

If anyone asks, I will declare, without hesitation, that I know nothing about how music works. Take, for instance, this note I scribbled from somewhere around the middle of reviewing this album: “‘Wolfsheim’?, is not the answer; collapse into a circus noodle—and then kind of saunters off”. These are not the remarks of a musician, or even a music critic. But once again, I have the privilege of sharing my remarks on Four Bunnies and a Beatbox, the final album from the original four members of the dark ambient band Ignore That Door, with a closing track from two s?u?r?v?i?v?i?n?g? remaining members.

Largely completed before the band-as-we’ve-known-its dissolution, it kicks off with a tone rather far removed from Music for Misanthropes. The first track, “Four Bunnies and a Beatbox”, plays like a statement of intent: We are going to do This. In this case, “This” is to crash through a good deal of dance-o-matic beats, swirls, and loops—with a promise of purposeful repetition. In some ways, the album-proper kicks off with track two, “Dance Sucka!” While one could certainly dance to this track, it edges into a menacing bit about chickens, courtesy of some low-key unpleasant remarks about chickens lifted from David Lynch’s Eraserhead. “Beat 182” and “Beat 1612” are both House-y, with some whines, bumps, and sampling. And so finishes the first act.

Mid-album, “The Answer” and “The Octopus” are the most playful outings: Dark EDM, occasionally touching on EBM (not that there’s much of a clean separation between those two anyway; but bear in mind that this is coming from a non-musician). Stack this pair and you’ve got an EP to blast that will keep your party people moving, lest they start perceiving that something is amiss. The third act—“Haunted” and “The Mantra”—is full House Music strong, with vocals from Winter Divine, which (for reasons) brought to mind the more melancholy side of Bioshock: Infinite. Soulful, and electronically warped, “Haunted” is indeed haunting; immediately afterwards, “Mantra” brings the action to a halt with some Far East oscillation. (I may be mistaken here; about it being Far East, mind you. It’s certainly oscillating.)

Tying up the whole experience is the coda, “Two Bunnies and a Beatbox”, which mimicks “Dance Sucka!” in its tone, but sampling—loopily—something else entirely. “Dance Sucka!” proffered an unsavoury chicken dinner, sat us down and had us carve the bird. “Two Bunnies…”, after establishing its EDM credentials with shakes, blupps, and some more build, sets a vehicular accident on repeat. I have no idea as to the origin of the spoken lines, but much as the quoted motorcyclist has lost his leg, Ignore That Door has lost a part of itself at this point. But!, also like the motorcyclist, the remaining bunnies are sanguine bordering on optimistic: they are alive, they have a story to tell, and with a little luck there’s something left in that beer can resting near their missing pieces.

All told, the album is a departure in style but not in substance, as the remaining rabbits use familiar tools to build their new sound. While Music for Misanthropes was a lie-down-in-the-dark-and-brood experience (“Dark Ambient” is the official term, I believe), as an album Four Bunnies and a Beatbox taps into the darkness of Door and the cheekiness of the collective’s new identity. (Oh, those bunnies.) This mutation is something to be embraced: Ignore That Door’s newest trick has the rabbits jumping out of the hat and onto the dance floor.

See also Ignore That Door's page on Silent Hill Radio.

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Guest album review by Giles Edwards

Edited by Penguin Pete.

 

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