It’s funny, but Nobunny is probably more known for his stage antics, mainly wearing a bunny mask, than his music, but that’s all going to change. His latest album for Goner Records, First Blood, has a sparkling sheen, erasing a touch of that garage sound that he hit you with on his earlier works. But, this isn’t a bad thing by any means, rather it puts his songwriting on display, which you’ll finally realize is quite solid.
There’s a classic rock n’ roll sound ringing from the guitars on “Ain’t It a Shame,” sort of like Chuck Berry, but the jangle that continues brings a clean vibe with guitars, while his slightly off-tune vocals bring a touch of modernity. He’ll continue the hint of swing on First Blood with “(Do the) Fuck Yourself,” which uses a nice little piano slide at key points to bring this track out of the garage and into your favorite dive bar. Listening closely, you’ll probably realize that the “Fuck Yourself” is sort of a nice throwback bop.
You’ll get that sharp-knifed grit you’d recognize at his live shows once you arrive at “Gone for Good.” It’s a fast paced number that just pushes ahead quickly, all the while Nobunny sort of gives the vocals a bit of a squeal–then you meet up with a nice little horn solo. While he’s known for garage sounds, the influences here show that he’s really just out to have some fun, no matter what rock n’ roll cliches come about. “Motorhead With Me” is almost exactly the same, though this is surely one of those tracks that will feature in the live setting. Snappy drum rolls give the sense that you’ll be clapping along as the percussion bangs away, not to mention that catchy little chorus that’s easily sung loudly whilst spilling your Pabst on your neighbor.
Even though you’ve got bits and pieces of rock n’ roll history throughout, its the garage pop on First Blood that really stands out. That opening guitar line on “Live it Up” just sucks you in, and right when the drums kick in, you’ll immediately be tapping your toes on the floor. During the chorus, he has sort of a speak/sing delivery, which when placed alongside that killer opening guitar line just sounds sugary. Still, if you want some evidence of solid songwriting, you can turn to the album’s closer, “I Was On (the Bozo Show).” It’s a twangy strumming guitar that really holds the listener throughout here, slowing things down to let you reflect on the whole collection of tracks here, so just soak it on up.
You’ll probably won’t see shattering record sales for First Blood, which is sort of unfortunate, as almost every song on this has some classic appeal. You also get the added bonus of knowing that the whole affair will be done in under a hour, so you really don’t have a thing to lose. Since cleaning up the production quality, Nobunny has emerged from playing dirty pop in his garage to writing great songs you can sing along to while you and your buddies are drinking beer looking for the best night of your lives.
Download: Nobunny – Blow Dumb [MP3]