Highlights: Duchess For Nothing, Serpents & Lights, Slackjawed
Tunabunny might hail from Athens, US, and sound like fucked-up Blondie (we are of course forgetting all about Deborah Harry’s charisma for a second), but they can so easily be mistaken for a British band. One that could have gained some cult following back in 1986. Not surprising then that Tunabunny toured with Shrag last year, in addition to recording a split single with them in March. Genius Fatigue is that raw indie sound, big on sweet tunes, ringing guitars and crude feedback.
Thankfully, the sound also happens to be incredibly addictive. Even when the band doesn’t come up with an interesting melody and relies entirely on a lengthy, repetitive groove (the album’s two longest tracks are also the most uneventful), they still achieve amazing chemistry through sheer sound and attitude. I would stress, though, that the songs work best when there’s a great melody playing in the background. I’m saying background - because really, the whole thing is more about noisy aural delights than anything else. Things like “Serpents & Lights” and “Slackjawed” have an almost twee gorgeousness to them, and that actually makes the sound a lot more intriguing. Overall, I'd say that The Fall’s Cerebral Caustic would be a good reference point.
Funnily enough, the album is indeed half genius, half fatigue, where truly inspired moments live side by side with what seems so ramshackle and deceptively careless. But don’t let that fool you: the band’s playing is tight, and their undeniable confidence pays off with every new listen.
Also, Tunabunny. Not the greatest name in the world. Unbunny (actually, a brilliant little indie-folk band) have been doing it for almost 20 years now, and nobody seems to care... Sad. Back to seriousness, though: I do of course wish these guys all the best; they certainly have the style and the chops. For the moment, it seems like an improvement in the melody department will surely do the trick. As of now, however cool titles like “Government Of Throats” may be, I’m going to settle for a solid, well-deserved seven.