Hunx - Hairdresser Blues - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Hunx - Hairdresser Blues

by Al Brown Rating:8 Release Date:2012-03-12

Hunx is back! Hooray! But without his Punx/Punkettes? Boo! The good news for fans is that not much else has changed since last year's fantastic Too Young to Be in Love. Hunx (ex-Gravy Train!!! Bay Area salon owner Seth Bogart) is still giving us his take on early 60s yearn-pop - you know, The Shangri-Las and all that jazz. And he's still doing it with a totally straight face, avoiding the distancing techniques (to-the-hilt reverb, ambiguous lyrics) so beloved by his peers.

Whether you like this album will depend on how basic and derivative you can handle your pop music being in 2012. If the answer is very - as long as it swings; as long as you can believe in it - then you, me and Hunx are on the same page. Hunx has a limited palette: a load of chord sequences and riffs that have probably been used a million times over; a thin, nasal voice and the realisation that when it comes to lyrics, satisfying phrasing is infinitely more important and meaningful than trying to make your song important and meaningful.

Kicking it off low-key, 'Your Love is Here to Stay' is, for the most part, typical Hunx: urgently strummed acoustic guitar and a nifty organ line accompany those predictable-but-plaintive lyrics: 'I promise I'm here to stay/ With you/ I'm stuck like glue/ My love will always be true.'

'Private Room' is, once again about Hunx proving that he's just as horny as he is lovelorn, this album's version of 'Lover's Lane', perhaps, but without the melodramatic overtones. 'Always Forever' is the only song with constant girl-backing vocals, and it's a two-minute belter, with a sweet Dunedin Sound guitar line and a some great kiss-off lyrics ('When will you leave me alone?/ I'm sick of you/ and everything that you do.)

'I'm Not the One That You Are Looking For' is the other side of the coin - Hunx is the obsessed one this time, feebly convincing himself that he just needs a definite "no" from the object of his desire so he can let go. 'Say Goodbye Before You Leave' is a lament for sadly departed one-time tourmate Jay Reatard. 'When You're Gone' ends with another of the sweet, slow guitar riffs that are a pleasant surprise on several songs.

Not everyone is going to love this album: if it was any more wilfully simplistic, you would have to accuse Hunx of laziness. But it veers around such thoughts with its many lovely hooks, and the way that, like all the best pop records it combines what should be mutually exclusive qualities. It's effortless yet well-thought-out and self-aware yet totally sincere.

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