Hunx – Hairdresser Blues

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Almost less than a year ago, we got Too Young To Be In Love, the second (sort of) album from Hunx and His Punx.  It was filled with its usual amounts of scuzzy punk and bits of kitsch.  But, that era of frivolity seems to have dissipated, if only temporarily, leaving us with the first solo outing of Hunx.  Unlike his normal gig, we find the man much more exposed, emotionally speaking, giving us a personal spin on his always affecting tunes.

“Your Love Is Here to Stay” begins the mellow affair with Hunx reflecting upon a lasting love, but it’s the gentle strummed guitar that distinguishes this from his more frenetic numbers.  There’s an element of innocence here too that’s certainly endearing for listener’s, exposing our narrator.  “Private Room” maintains that same sentiment, yet with the added female vocal accompaniment and impacting drums, you’ll find a bit more pace on this number.  Stylistically, it’s more what you’ve come to expect from Hunx‘s traditional fare.

The one-two punch of hits on Hairdresser Blues comes in the form of “Always Forever” and “Hairdresser Blues.”  The first of these two tracks definitely has that California garage-rock feel to it, but only with more restraint–in a positive way.  For me, the response of “always forever” certainly grabs my attention and makes it a song I’ll play for some time. “Hairdresser Blues” is a jangling piece of joyousness, though the lyrical content might make you think otherwise.  It’s sort of like Hunx‘s version of a Sonny and the Sunsets, compiling pieces of sunshine, pop, and grit to craft a well-written tune.

Perhaps what hits home the most with the record are the two closing tracks.  “Say Goodbye Before You Leave” reminisces about Hunx‘s relationship with Jay Reatard, a personal favorite, so it definitely hits a personal note.  But, more importantly it’s a song about loss, which holds a universal theme for us all, so regardless of the subject matter for our songwriter here, we can all relate to this, especially the closing statement that “it’s just too bad.” Apparently, “When You’re Gone” is another homage to a bit of loss, with Hunx reflecting about his deceased father.  Again, the universality of his lyrics on this effort stand out, bringing home the personal message that seems so important to the narrative being spun on Hairdresser Blues. It wraps up the record with an emotional reminder that surely resonates with every listener–worth the dozen or more spins I’ve given it in the last hour.

What stands out the most about this record really has to be the exposed persona of Hunx on Hairdresser Blues.  While he’s usually a bundle of energy and sexuality (things I enjoy), there’s a personal note on this effort that really supersedes the music.  While it is a bit solemn, the sincerity leaves you with a bit of solace, a bit of clarity and hope.  If he starts to combine these elements with his old-school brashness, there’s no telling what a huge hit Hunx could be.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/HXS_AlwaysForever.mp3]

Download:Hunx – Always Forever [MP3]

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