BY BARRY ST. VITUS
Since the tragic demise of Jay Reatard, Nobunny has become the standard-bearer of all that is garage-trash-punk. The rabid rabbit of rock ‘n’ roll has escaped his warren again, and those aren’t chocolate eggs he’s throwing! His music invokes images of high-tops, dingy garage practice spaces, black leather jackets and carbona, not glue. On his fourth full album, perhaps the totality of the offerings aren’t all as solid as First Blood or Love Visions, he does dish out some mighty tasty hasenpfeffer that’ll have you fist-pumping and doing the bunny hop. As an honor grad of Rock and Roll High School, his musical influences/inspirations and homages are cunningly derivative, scouring all the coolest rock music that has come before. There are a couple of songs on here like “True Vulture,” and “It’s Pathetic” that are a bit half-baked, but the irony may be lost on me with “Trouble In Mind,” with its riff on the Grateful Dead. With its Garcia-esque guitar opening, it shambles through a “Casey Jones”-like melody. Perhaps a case of ‘fuck’m if they can’t take a joke.’
It’s all happily carrot cake from there, though. The only cover in the collection is with “Pretty Girls,” from the viral video done by the Kids of Widney High, a special ed. school in L.A. that features a group of students singing, backed up musically by their instructors. It has the innocent charm of something by The Shaggs or Daniel Johnston. “Lizard Liars,” “My Blank Space,” and ‘I’m a dirty old man with a’ “Rotten Sweet Tooth,” all stir things up hard and heavy, dove-tailing with the “classic” Nobunny material.
I’ve gotta hunch that his nasty “Do the Stooge” is a tip of the hat to Hasil Adkins, with its wildman beat, but also packed with other lyrical referrals throughout like, ‘rama lama ding dong,’ ring dang doo,’ ‘hidey hidey ho,’ ‘oo mau mau,’ ‘a doo wah diddy and a doo ron ron,’ and ‘gabba gabba hey and a jelly roll.’
“Little Bo Bitch” is another great, in-your-face tune that’s a stand out, and fodder for an excellent DIY video. Several of the 14 tunes, herein, only run about a minute, minute and a half, but punk thrasher “Buried In A Bong” clocks in at an econo 31 seconds. Short, but satisfying, like some of the super short snippets by the Descendents or the Minutemen.
Nobunny injects the fun back into rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s not because of some perceived ‘novelty’ value. He’s got the gift of creating ‘real deal’ music, as valid as The Ramones, Iggy or any other cherished icons of the genre. Maybe it’s rushing things a bit by placing him in that hierarchy, with only a few albums under his belt, but you’ve got to assess the quality against the quantity, and any true fans of punk rock should know his name and turn out for his down and dirty live shows, if they want to see a potential legend on his way up.
DOWNLOAD: “Lizard Liars,” “My Blank Space,” “Do The Stooge”