Underneath The Bunker
September 11, 2007
“Underneath The Bunker” sounds like ethnic music, but it’s so jumbled and odd that it’s hard to place it properly — it’s a bit Latin, a bit Greek, a bit gah, who knows. It seems like a moment of weirdness and levity in the middle of Lifes Rich Pageant, but given its lyrics implication of war and/or nuclear devastation, it actually may be the bleakest cut on the record. Michael Stipe doesn’t even turn up til near the end of the song, and even then, he’s virtually unrecognizable what with the severe distortion and his odd, put-on accent. Its inclusion on the album is totally counter-intuitive, but somehow it works perfectly as a bridge between “Hyena” and “The Flowers of Guatemala.” I can’t imagine what possessed the band to push for the song’s inclusion, but it worked out fairly well.