Nobunny – Secret Songs

nobynnRating: ★★★½☆

For over a decade Nobunny has been doing his own thing, abiding by his own rules and endearing himself to fans all the while.  Secret Songs is his third LP, and while it’s a bit all over the place, it encapsulates exactly what you’d expect from our favorite garage animal rocker.  And shining through it all? Great songs.

Every time I listen to Secret Songs I envision myself rocking out at a show with Nobunny.  “Bye Bye Roxie” seems like a perfect way to kick off the evening, with a bouncing rhythm and heavy-handed guitar playing; it all clears the way for our main man to rock his vocals, wagging his sweat drenched ears in your face. He even slows it down a bit with a twangy guitar stomp on “True Vulture,” before offering one of the standout tracks, “Pretty Girl.”  For me, it’s all about the anthemic nature of the chorus.  I envision you and I bouncing around joyously, beer spraying all across the room as Nobunny enters the foray to make entice us to suck the marrow out of life.

While I’m sure I’ve often lumped our anti-hero into the garage rock category (see above), I can also appreciate his penchant for trying out other genres, while still sounding every bit himself.  “Lizard Lies” is the best power-pop track that the Exploding Hearts never wrote; it’s bratty, catchy and polished enough to play while you give your dad a ride to work.  The longhairs will definitely be shaking their locks at the venues as this song blares out of their local PAs. Then there’s “Do the Stooge,” which is a sort of freak-out jam, which gives us all time to head to the bar, though we’ll do so with a little bit of swagger. You’ll need that momentarily breather before you get into the most classic track, “My Blank Space.”  It’s frantic pace and held syllables are precisely the sort of song that made Nobunny endearing to us all from the start.

And the our night is wrapped up in a poppy little number: “Lovin Lovin You.”  It reminds me of the sort of guitar playing/punk shuffle I grew accustomed to when I went through my Dead Milkmen phase.  It’s a ditty, but there’s something dirty about it…it’s a pop song your parents would be okay with, but every bit of it belongs to you.  And the album, or your night at the club, is over before you know it.  You danced with your friends, you rocked with Nobunny, and those Secret Songs now belong to you.  As always, it’s a secret best shared with those you trust, those with good taste.  There’s nothing quite like it.


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