review by Melissa Knudsen
Goner Records newbie NoBunny has what it takes to make the garage rock cut and then some. Nobunny, real name Justin Chaplin, originally made his stage debut as an animal-masked Elvis impersonator under the moniker Elvis Bunny. Chaplin, originally from Tuscon, Arizona, had the dream of becoming the only traveling Elvis impersonator who just happened to be a bunny. Since the gig wasn’t bringing in the dough as much as planned, he had a second moniker, No Money Bunny, where he would beg for money on the streets and still a penny was hardly thrown his way. Eventually, decided to give up on his dreams of being a bunny Elvis impersonator and he traveled to Chicago where he performed his original material for the first time, and dedicated it to Joey Ramone who just passed away that same day. He finally adapted the name NoBunny for his new music making persona and started recording his own music in 2001
NoBunny has since been proudly wearing the bunny mask and making music but didn’t actually have a full album debut until 2008’s Love Visions, originally released on Bubbledumb Records as vinyl-only and then later as a CD on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. In between that time, NoBunny has released many EPs, home recordings on CDR, 7 inches and cassette tapes. Over the last almost-decade of creating punk rock, NoBunny has gone through nearly fifty past members of the band, now settling with Touchy Tony on bass and vocals, Elvis Christ on lead guitar, vocals and drums and Danaheim on drums who all helped create the new LP, First Blood. And I hope he keeps them, cause this new album could be his greatest yet and contains some of his catchiest tunes to date.
First Blood is a record that should be classified as 2010’s best lo-fi garage pop album, if that were ever a category in a music competition. Its fun, it makes you feel good and chances are its gonna make you wanna dance immediately after your first listen. Its a bit reminiscent of the late Exploding Hearts’ (RIP) Guitar Romantic and of pretty much anything done by Mark Sultan. It also sounds a bit like your not-so-typical 50’s doowop pop with a dirty mouth. Besides the bubblegum/bubbledumb style of the music, some of these catchy tunes include a kazoo noise, a wood block and what sounds like carnival music. Some of the best tracks (and the most danciest) on the album include “Blow Dumb”, “(Do the)Fuck Yourself”, “Ain’t it a Shame” and “Gone for Good”.
This is definitely a must-hear-to-fully-understand-how-fucking-rad-it-is album.