Portrait by Julia Kay
Being an old curmudgeon, if I don’t like a band’s name I won’t give them a chance. After all musical taste is all about aesthetics and if I don’t like the name, chances are I’m not going to like the music. There are tons of bands that reinforce that rule: Crash Test Dummys, Vampire Weekend, Hoobastank, Deathcab for Cutie, Gay Dad, Dogs Die In Hot Cars, and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddys to name but a few. Of course there are exceptions to the rule like Cats On Fire, Weedhounds, Prefab Sprout, and The The. I would like to propose adding Tunabunny to my list of exceptions.
The Athens, Georgia band have just recently released their first album on their hometown label Happy Happy Birthday To Me. At first listen it was a dissonant and difficult record, but like the grumpy old guy in the movies, after you get know him, he turns out to be a sweetheart, well a sweetheart with thorns and burrs hidden about him. What I’m trying to say is that it’s a grower. Once you get used to the treble overload the songs begin to seep in. Sometimes they kind of sound like hometown heroes Pylon at their most raunchy, or tender and scary like a Helium song, or freaked out in distortion like Boyracer, or just plane weird like little known LA pop freaks Charles Brown Superstar. It’s never obvious and you won’t immediately be in rapture, but if you give it a chance, the onion will peel which could result in stinging tears, something tasty, or both.
mp3: Tunabunny – Gasmasks
Order up a copy of the album on vinyl or cassette (what is this 1982 again?) from Happy Happy Birthday To Me.