Thursday, July 23, 2015
Bunnygrunt was a band that almost ended before it even began in the hazy fog of mid 90s indie music. However, while they were there and slid into the future, the band left behind five full lengths and countless vinyl singles. Bunnygrunt has arrived again, fashionably late, and kicks out their own ephemeral and enigmatic jams in a reckless trash rock fashion that permeates with a grimy elegance. An interesting move for a band that made a name for itself with a sound that was firmly rooted in indie pop understatement. In the peculiar case of Bunnygrunt, it is the dawning of a new era. If you firmly close the door to the St. Louis band’s eclectic past, the new full length Vol. 4 is their first release.
A slurred speech of Wild Gift era X, Sonic Youth and the Fastbacks relentlessly inebriates its compulsive blur throughout this eight song power-garage blast bender. Vol. 4 is the cracked Rosetta Stone of teenage slacker ingenuity. Making out while blacking out, the desperation you feel when you’re stuck between the ages of 18 and 21. The sound of vandalizing your best friend’s apartment complex while popping ecstasy with the girl next door in an uneasy euphoria. An addictive and unnerving journey with trace evidence of the Rezillos, Vaselines, and Hüsker Dü scattered along the dark path to wherever you want to go. Fade in or fade out but the angst ridden background boom will drown out the silence of people living in silence.
The track “I Quit, Mr. White” is an exceptional standout among this eccentric and euphonious chemical rearrangement of modern music. It has one of those melancholy melodies that rocks and haunts you at the same time. “Open My Eyes” and “Still Chooglin” cruise into overdrive with diabolical verse and chorus combos that crack like a lit match on lighter fluid. “The Book that I Wrote” and “Just Like Old Times” deliver solid hooks and crunchy instrumentation with the outcome being disheveled and instantly memorable. “Frankie is a Killer” is a choice cut among this collection for the sheer fact it sounds exactly like one of those obscure punk tracks from the infamous Killed By Death volumes.
On a final and tastefully stinging note, the band deviously sneaks a post-punk opus on the listener entitled “Chunt Bump”. At a duration of 7 minutes, you would expect some kind of pretentious filler. This track rocks purely and intelligently with harmonious disarrayed chords and tempo changes that actually blend into a beautiful lament of days gone by, insatiable cravings, and the state of being stuck. The composition builds into a Tubeway Army like finale and uses a repetition of eerily pretty notes to burrow its way into the center of your mind. After all, isn’t that what reality is? What exists in the center of our minds? Our memories and our perception define all, whether it really happened or not. The facts don’t matter but this record certainly does. Five stars out of five stars.