Hunx And His Punx review - NME – April 2011

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Infantile, crass, homoerotic and truly delightful - Hunx and The Punx offer an irresistible train wreck hybrid of high camp sixties bubble gum and brash garage rock

Hailing from Berkely San Francisco where all the smart folks dwell, they serve this up with lashings of punk sensibility and brattish hipsterism. Think John Waters’ character Divine times three performing with a spastic Lux Interior in new duds.

Who could resist such enchanting lines, such as those from the Hunx tune ‘You Don’t Like Rock And Roll,’ ? - “Its not that you aren’t nice looking, its not that I don’t like you’re cooking. What the heck is wrong with you, I think you sniff too much glue– you don’t like rock and roll and I don’t like you.” – yeah baby….

Hunx truly delivered for their sold out show at The Echo, which also served as the debut of their Spring US tour ( a Europe tour to follow later in 2011). A packed house oozed infectious, frantic energy, this was an epic event, more than just a gig. Rather a sublime void, somewhere between an exploding meth lab, amusement park visit and fat camp.

Hunx And Punx are as much about theatrical display as they are dexterous musicianship. Sneering, pouting and contorting like the cast of John Waters’ debut film ‘Hag In A Black Leather Jacket,’ which comprised an acting troupe called The Dreamlanders, who fulfilled Waters’ prerequisite for starring in the film by being convicted shoplifters.

Still despite their homage to 60’s bubblegum, Hunx And The Punx absolutely owned the Echo stage. While things sometimes stray musically from pristine Ronettes styled structure the Hunx reinterpreted recklessness is truly endearing, and their honey sweet harmonies always endure.

The deft hand of nineties L.A. punk rock veteran Michelle Santamaria (of Loli & the Chones and the Pinkz) on guitar offered reliable grounding for Amy Blaustein’s organ warblings, while skinperson Erin Emslie is a veritable big end machine ( and she’s the thin one)

With an impressive portfolio of previous bands, including SF legends Panty Raid and Gravy Train, main man Hunx AKA Seth Bogar is a brazen exhibitionist with a penchant for pantyhose and shirtlessness, his singing isn’t bad either. Still a part-time hairdresser an Oakland beauty parlor, he cites some diverse influences, including Danzig, Ronnie Spector and The Chipmunks.

Oddly he also wants to pursue a career in comedy “when he’s old,” though for now he’s focusing on exercising his pipes. When he downplays the archetypal camp phonetics, lisp and all, this chap has a quality voice and excellent range. Digging deep for some lower gutteral sounds, he came across well, particularly on the likes of ‘Too Young To Be In Love,’ ‘Lovers Lane,’and ‘Cruising,’ the sweaty throng ate it up

Now with Sub Pop's Hardly Art label Hunx have an imminent album produced by Richard Hell and the Voidoids alum Richard Julian, hence the word big and thing seems to dangle around them of late.

Ultimately, there are two dimensions to Hunx And The Punx. On one side they’re a post modern pastiche of sociological reference points, from body image, to sexual preference and gender role. On the other they’re an infectiously fun soundtrack for binge drinking and reckless dancing – you decide

Craig Stephens

Written by Craig Stephens

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