Nobunny – First Blood

Rating: ★★★½☆

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.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/03-Blow-Dumb.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – Blow Dumb [MP3]

New Music from Nobunny

Ever seen a man in a bunny mask rock the stage with garage pop so good you’ll immediately go grab yourself a mask just to join the colony?  Well, such is the case with the geniune genius of Nobunny.  He’s got a new record coming out on Goner Records titled First Blood, which hits stores September 21st.  The production on this latest hit is tenfold what it was on the last album, but don’t think that’s going to stop this group from holding back on the catchiest guitar pop around, full of grit and exuberance.  You better give this latsest single, “Blow Dumb,” a good solid listen, that way you’ll be ready to get your hands on this when it hits stores next week!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/03-Blow-Dumb.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – Blow Dumb [MP3]

Ty Segall – Melted

Rating: ★★★★☆

Garage rock has made quite a resurgence in the last several years, and it’s been enforced, or heralded, by one torch bearer or another.  In the resurgence era we had King Khan, Jay Reatard and now we’ve got Ty Segall.  His new album Melted, on Goner Records, is just a dirty rocking party fueled by catchy choruses and pounding rhythms, so let’s get to it.

Ty has a style all his own, and its first apparent when he opens the album with “Finger,” just slowly strumming and lightly howling for a few extra bars.  Then the garage rock power fuzz kicks in.  There’s nothing clean about the sound on this track, and yet there doesn’t need to be, as Segall’s changing vocal delivery powers us through, right into “Ceasar.”  Bobbing bass lines bounce you through this number, as the percussion sort of bangs away haphazardly. Beneath the grit here lies Segall’s ability to carry melody, which he treats you to about midway through the track.

Melted doesn’t just pound away at your ears graciously, as the band can add a little bit of a jangle and swing to their numbers.  “Sad Fuzz” allows room for the vocals to sort of place around, and yet the chorus provides listeners with the impression of a young man slinging his guitar about, which you’re likely to catch live. Album closer “Alone” also demonstrates Ty Segall stepping outside of the scuzzy barroom brawl, doing his best to pull every bit of melody out of his words as possible.  While it might seem like a it of a drone, it definitely accomplishes its goal, closing the record with an appropriate breather.

Soft points aside, make no mistake that this album is stocked full of straight ahead power and energy, of that disastrous sort. After getting lost in the meandering feedback of “Imaginary Person” your caught up immediately in a bouncing number that powers along, much in the way Jay Reatard did prior to his death.  It’s the arena that brings about the best in Segall, combining his interest in modern garage rock with his desire to provide a little bit of a hook for the audience.  This is perhaps one of the best numbers on the album, almost bringing about the inner Danzig in the singer.  And you can’t ignore the forceful “My Sunshine,” which bangs around with remnants of late 60s garage.  Nothing on this track sounds clean: not the vocals, not the drums, not the guitar.  All the while, you’re tapping your feet, waiting to see what’s coming next, only to be side-swiped by a nice little guitar solo to end the song.

Ty Segall is keeping himself busy right about now, working on his own stuff and recording the works of others.  One would think that this wouldn’t leave time for much creativity, but rest assured, there is nothing boring about Melted. It’s loud and boisterous when it wants to be, and it can be a little bit gentle in spots.  Such a combination packs the perfect amount of punch, and just racks up another successful record from Ty.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Caesar.mp3]

Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [MP3]

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