Ok I will admit I had not come across Austrian band Bulbul before being handed their new album Hirn Fein Hacken, a release which sees them returning after six years from not sure where, but from here on in after the intensive psyche examination presented by their latest, a backward investigation is sitting high on the list of musts. An insatiable and mischievous, not forgetting criminally addictive, exploration of every delicious element you can imagine to rile, ignite, and seduce the very core of the mind and senses, Hirn Fein Hacken is quite simply sonic irreverence and quite brilliant.
The first sign of Bulbul we can find is the release of their self-titled debut album in 1997, Bulbul a one man project of guitarist/vocalist Raumschiff Engelmayr at the time. With Derhunt linking up on bass, the band released second and again self-titled album in 1999, via as the first via Trost Records. Drummer Ddkern joined not long after as the band continued to experiment with sound, imagination, and their fans minds through their third and fourth albums in 2003 and 2005 respectively, again under the same monikers as the others. 2006 saw fifth album BlllBlll unleashed whilst the Patrick Pulsinger produced 6 was uncaged via Exile On Mainstream two years later to strong acclaim and attention. Hirn Fein Hacken is as mentioned the band’s return, again via EOM, and takes little time in slipping under the skin of the senses and psyche as well as giving the passions an irresistible creative toxicity to feast upon.
The Vienna hailing band’s influences according to the press release include the likes of The Kinks, Cpt. Beefheart, Rhys Chatham, Django Reinhart, Abner Jay, Fats Domino, and Bob Dylan, but as the album seduces with its ingenious seductive dementia we would suggest artists such as Kontrust, De Staat, Yello, and Fantomas as a starting place. Opener Fire offers a wide groan before bringing all of its thought and energy into a concentrated rhythmically driven nagging of ears and senses. Riffs gently niggle as the bass provides a fuzz kissed tonic to greedily swallow whilst all the while strong vocals dance over the bait with devilry in their tone and relish on their lips. The song continues to swagger and weave across the imagination, enterprise of the guitar as boisterously naughty as it is creative and the bass an irresistible growling incitement impossible to tear emotions away from.
It is a magnetic start which has little difficulty in making slaves of thoughts and passions, leaving the following Uhu a willing canvas to play with. An electro simmering ebbs and flows initially, its voice slightly smothered but eager to break free to greater clarity. That aspect is taken by the funk bred grooves and suasion of the guitar matched by the vivacious vocal delivery. The song smoulders, never lifting its gaze or energy from a wanton sway of its body and sex infused melodies. Not as dramatic as its predecessor but equally as enthralling, the song makes way for I hea eh scho lång nix mea, a song which like the first secures its initial conquest through repetitive coaxing before exploring an industrially inspired realm with clanking tubes, concussive temptations, and unpredictable almost maniacal imagination. The track pushes the earlier thoughts of De Staat to the fore, the song a cousin of their Sweatshop track without the same feverish urgency. It is a glorious trap for the passions warming them up for the even greater infestation to follow.
That virulence comes in the shape of the ridiculously addictive and epidemically infectious instrumental Kanzla. From its first second, guitars respectfully grind against the ears whilst the bass again adds a barracuda like tone to the abrasing lure of the song. The rhythmic restraint with punctuating twists of the drums only reinforces the delicious irritancy as the track persists with its rub through sonic rises and falls. The dip into a brief sultry teasing only inflames the senses more before the track reverts to its feverish meshuga of a tango, intermittently interrupting its blaze with further inventive twists.
Both the psychotic Fisole, where instruments are abused and random items employed for a warped bedlamic cacophony, and the noise rock taunting of Quicksand keep the passions breathless, the second of the two finding an element of Melvins and even Pere Ubu to its spellbinding guitar sculpted temptation. As impressively thrilling as they are the pair are only the appetiser for the pinnacle of the album, Gurdy. The track takes a breath before cantering eagerly through the ears, spicy short guitar strokes and rumbling riffing spurred on by the darkly sinister vocals and unrelenting rhythms. The track is pure 100% unbudging contagion, every flavour, trait, and inventive bait pure addictiveness. Imagine Mike Patton, Pryapsime, and Queens Of The Stone Age engaged in an illicit enterprise and you have the quite magnificent Gurdy.
Genderman Can provides a raw punk fuelled rampage next, vocals and bass antagonistic whilst the guitar boils the air with a blues tasting sonic toxin which again is only good for health and passions, especially its closing warped and sizzling smothering of the senses. From here the album relaxes its energetic stance to unveil a pair of slowly burning treats. Bomb comes first, its opening air awash with the fiery country blues flames which were hinted at on its predecessor. With pulsating beats and a psychedelic ambience drifting over song and listener whilst the vocals like the music flickers within a seductive fire formed around the narrative, the track is a mesmeric enchantment littered and primed with broad intrigue and unruly invention, but within a relatively sobering confine.
The closing A To Beans is just aural sex, a slow hip swerving seductress with smooth rhythms, a throbbing intent, and a sinister vocal invitation which should be avoided but impossible not to embrace as deeply as the noir blessed sounds. It is a ridiculously captivating end to a quite sensational release. As these last words are written contemplation of how BulBul avoided our attention is loud and incriminations rife, but it is hard to imagine previous releases being better than Hirn Fein Hacken so maybe this was the right time to find the band. We are heading back into their history as you read and suggest you do the same once you have been infected by this mad beauty.
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