Nobunny – First Blood

January 01, 1970

(Goner Records)


So, who is that masked madman in
the filthy, furry bunny mask? He’s Justin Champlin, who may just be the world’s
oldest teenager. The energized bunny, who often plays stripped down to his
skivvies, wails out tunes about unrequited love, broken hearts, kissing his
little girl under an apple tree and other tales of horny teen angst usually
found in the lyrics of bubblegum and garage rock music. While the mask may
strike some as a gimmick, there are no gimmicks needed for Nobunny’s ability to
churn out authentic period rock that recalls everyone from the Chuck Berry,
Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee era, to the one-hit wonder tunes by the garage-punk
bands of the sixties, right into the pop-punk of the Ramones and especially the
Dickies. This guy has a knack for writing fun, slightly goofy songs that make you
want to jump around and be happy, which is probably why he’s gone viral across
the planet in the past few years. Everybody loves a good shot in the ass of
good ol’ rock and roll.


Nobunny drifted out of Tucson to
the Bay area several years ago, playing solo at first, and going through a
small army of band members since. First Blood is his second real full-length
album, if you don’t count the cassette-only Raw Romance from about a year ago
released on Burger. His Love Visions album from 2008 parody’s the first Ramones
album cover. His motto, rightfully so, is “Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”
I believe a good gauge for real rock music is the length of a song, and these
11 tunes clock in at a thrifty 1 ½ to about 3 minutes each, just enough time to
kick ass, take names and get gone.  “Blow
Dumb” is the first time I can recall him doing a Velvets knock-off, right down
to the Lou-like aside, “Awww, here it comes.” Jerry Lee’s Killer piano-banging
style comes to play in both the masturbatory “(Do The) Fuck Yourself” as well
as the Ramones-ish “Never Been Kissed.” 
“Motorhead With Me” also wears the Ramones brand proudly. “Breathe”
slows down the pace and plods along like T. Rex’s “Telegram Sam”, embellished
with lethargic cellos, as well as some “huff, huff, huffs.”  One song that left me a bit cold on the first
listening, “I Was On (The Bozo Show)”, quickly caught up with its catchy
chorus, “I was on the Bozo show, it was a long, long time ago, went with my
favorite bro, sat in the way back row”, that I found myself humming the next
day. What starts off sounding like the guitar strumming and kick drum of “Give
Peace A Chance”, ultimately devolves into a demented version of the familiar
calliope circus theme music.


Nobunny claims to own only a few
records, so perhaps he’s pulling all of the music that he’s influenced by out
of the ether on his rabbit ears. He’s also a fan of Hasil Adkins, but instead
of “Do The Hunch,” I guess Nobunny would “Do The Hutch.” I advise everyone to
hop over to visit his Myspace profile and check out his photos and collection
of show posters. Great stuff.


DOWNLOAD: “Blow Dumb”, “Motorhead With Me” BARRY ST. VITUS

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