Hunx and his Punx – [Album]

Tuesday, 03 May 2011

Remember back when 'punk' wasn't synonymous with a music genre? Around 1075 or '76, 'Punk' didn't have anything to do with music as a stylistic term – there was just this group of bands in the Bowery who were starting to make some noise and get a bit of notice for it, and a little magazine which happened to be called Punk that happened to be writing about them. The bands didn't have a whole lot in common other than geography either; Patti Smith and Richard Hell were re-interpreting were re-interpreting French poetry, Blondie was making occasionally reggae-looking, over-driven art pop, Television was making math rock and The Ramones were making (to quote Johnny Ramone) “sick bubblegum music.” Nobody called themselves a “punk band,” everybody was just making the music on the budget they could afford; there was no rule book, no stylistic convention, no nothing. This music and the bands making it only got called punk later – after it caught on and got formalized. Now punk does have conventions (ironically) and conventions and rules, which is funny because, now, Hunx and his Punx doesn't fit the paradigm and probably won't be called a punk band in spite of being the closest to capturing the original spirit of the music in years. On their debut album, Hunx and his Punx do exactly what their forefathers did when they founded punk rock thirty-seven years ago: they've taken a campy gimmick and made it a little sleazy, a little ironic and a little dirty. They've revived early Sixties R&B pop and scuffed up the edges a little, and pressed it into a sleazy/ironic cast.

Opening with a beat that sounds as though it could have been lifted straight out of “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes, Hunx and his Punx produce a slightly fatigued and comical take on refurbished pop from the early Sixties that will make any listener laugh in spite of themselves at first, but start to sleaze along with the band dubiously for grins to see where it might go.

To be perfectly blunt, Too Young To Be In Love doesn't progress too terribly far beyond that point but, at least for now, it doesn't really need to; songs like “He's Coming Back,” “Keep Away From Johnny,” the title track, “Bad Boy” and “Can We All Get Together” play enthusiastically with the same sort of knock-off, cutesy pop goofiness that Frank Zappa tried to promote with the GTOs in the Seventies and ends up landing in the same kind of campy surroundings as a result, but slightly more authoritative because the band has the virtue of doing it well. Singer (and hair dresser) Seth Bogart sings his best and toughest in spite of being obviously same-sex-oriented and his girlie band rushes the roots of Sixties pop as hard as they're able without ever laying one toe on a distortion stomp box at any point through Too Young To Be In Love's ten tracks. Of course, in saying that, there's no question there will be a few pimple-popping young super-punks who scoff and look angrily on Hunx and his Punx' fey and completely testosterone-free form of punk rock, but those who scream too loudly are clearly missing the joke; those who scream the loudest will simply be echoing their parents who screamed that “Punk is garbage!” and “Punk's not music!” How long will Hunx and his Punx be able to keep this up? No one could possibly know – but they've made their point and maybe they'll be able to restart punk from the ground up again. Who knows? They might just have the ball rolling here….



Too Young To Be In Love
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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