Even the name has this sense of contradiction. The cutesy of the bunny, doing something rough, unexpected, with the grunt. And so it is with the band Bunnygrunt, who have spent the last forever ploughing this field between c86 indie pop and messier DIY punkish behaviour, sadly, much to the ignorance of the masses, but still loved by the few.
Me, I have history. A very brief, tenuous history, but one nevertheless. A night in New York, me there in my capacity as member of St Christopher, another much ignored but fabulous band (but there, again I would say that) acting as support band to the Grunt, as we followers refer to them (we don’t, I just thought of it in passing just then) and them leading the way in front of about ten people in the worst advertised gig in pop music history. But still, they played, not caring about the audience or us, or indeed anyone else, making the sort of music they wanted to make, largely it seemed, for their own enjoyment. It just happened that they were great and caused us, the few, to enjoy ourselves, and go away and aquaint ourselves more thoroughly with the world of Bunnygrunt.
And that is the beautiful thing about Bunnygrunt. They seem to make music on their own terms, and us, the listeners, are just interlopers, passing through. And that pretty much sums up Vol.4, the bands new album. Largely made up of songs that sound little more than demos on occasion, all of them have something to offer. They often split into the Bunny (sugary-ish indie pop, sung by Karen) and this more angular, (post)-punk headed up by Matts similarly angular vocals – the pulsating Led it out being the best example.
There are highlights aplenty, but Chunt Bump not only has an incredible name (no idea) but hits on this rather gorgeous set of changes that verge on britpop as interpreted by Sonic Youth, and is spread out over seven minutes. Not because there’s this inate cleverness about it, but instead just because you need to hear those changes again and again, as if torturing those lesser bands that haven’t happened on something so great. Just like old times is frankly gorgous, and 1000% not creepy (tweepop version) is just about as crazy a singalong, err, tweepop song I can think of.
Elsewhere the vaudeville of Tonight you belong to me is an unexpected diversion that somehow works, and Where Eagles Dare PT.2 is just over two minutes of loveliness. It’s the sort of record that makes you wonder what sort of world we live in where bands like Bunnygrunt operate under the radar.
Bunnygrunt have made a very, very good album. Not that it would matter to them, it seems. The world needs Bunnygrunt more than Bunnygrunt need the world. And isn’t that the perfect way to be.