Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nobunny "First Blood" (Goner) "Raw Romance" (Burger) "Love Visions" (Bubbledumb/1234Go!)

(Goner/Burger/1234Go!) Considering that amongst contemporary musicians, he's an close to an official Roctober band as there is, it's amazing how little of his material we've reviewed here, so this anniversary issue seems a good time to remedy that. Always generous about mentioning the inspiration our masked rock n roll issue had on him, the bunny-masked bubblegum-garage rocker has sported filthy bunny fur on his face for the last 10+ years, while on one endless tour of any club that will have him (and that can contain the rush of female fans thrilled by his lepusian charms). Surprisingly, for someone working what a lesser critic might call a gimmick, his success has less to do with masks, nudity, and bunny puns, and more to do with amazing pop songwriting sensibilities. But what is more impressive than his great songs (though I suppose nothing should be more impressive than great songs) is that he's able to take a record collector's instinct for historical pastiche without ending up with something clinical and soulless. Musically that mean he can put familiar 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s sounds together without suffering from Xerox-syndrome ("Blow Dumb" from his Goner LP might borrow from Velvet Underground, but genuinely doesn't steal). Visually that means he can go buck wild with his winks to fellow record geeks (the "Love Visions" reissue has a Cameo-Parkway parody label, the "First Blood" label is a 60s/70s Columbia riff).  Though renowned as a road rabbit, his bunny trail of recordings is impressive. After years of hopping around Nobunny released his debut "Love Visions" in 2008, a lo-fi masterpiece that introduced three of his best songs "I Am a Girlfriend," the minimalist "Mess Me Up,"and "Chuck Berry Holiday," a trio of incredibly catchy tunes that have proved to be anthemic and crowd-erupting live. He then released his masterpiece in 2009, "Raw Romance," initially on cassette only, but unlike the Bad Brains tape, this one actually sounds as good on any format. Including some refigured songs from his debut, the release also has the naughty "Your Mouth," the revealing "Mask's On," and the alluringly tinny "Apple Tree." The latter's endearing wholesomeness reveals the Bunny's secret weapon. As demonstrated on his most polished release, the impressive "First Blood" LP, we see that what really seperates him from many of his trashrock  brethren is his positivity -- he's sleazy, dirty, and possibly diseased, but every ode to sex, drugs, and/or rock n' roll is a nice, friendly one (even "[Do the[ Fuck Yourself" is a joyful ode to self-pleasure, not a putdown). He's hopping to happiness and it's hard not to hop along!

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