Hunx & His Punx
Written by: Griffin Fillipitch
"Everyone loves me at the beauty shop," Hunx sings on Street Punk the third and latest effort from him and His Punx. He's probably right. Last year he went solo on "Hairdresser Blues," an album full of unhurried grooves and sugar sweet choruses that leaned more toward '60s girl-group pop than garage rock (he is always balancing somewhere between the two).
The guitars were still scratchy, but the heart beating behind them was incredibly sentimental. It was playful and sad, an effortlessly versatile album. It could easily find a home at any salon, however fancy the shampoo, however soft the towels.
So it was nice to hear him touch on the beauty shop for a moment on "Born Blonde," but don't let it fool you. Whatever blues he had, he has since left behind. He has regained the brazen demeanor of his earlier days and has thrown in a level of anger that he's never quite reached before. He is loud and pissed, but happy about it in a way that is not possible when you're all alone. His Punx are back and they make their presence felt.
Ten of the twelve tracks come and go in less than two minutes. The Punx are in and out in less than twenty. But that's more than enough time for Street Punk to leave a mark. It is speedy, unrestrained, ramshackle rock of the highest order. Hunx wails over furious guitars that sound like they want to, but cannot, drown him out. His best screams come when he's blasting out half-finished credos like, "Everyone's a pussy / Fuck you dude" and "Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous / Oh my God!"
On tracks like "You Think You're Tough" and "Mud in Your Eyes," Shannon Shaw (of Shannon and the Clams) provides the most melodic performances on the album. She has a lower and steadier voice than Hunx, and they play nicely off of each other. Still these tracks thrash pretty mercilessly.
That never really changes. The only break from thrashing is the near-four minute closer, "It's Not Easy," but even that is a messy dirge with caustic squeals from Hunx and two simultaneous guitar solos at the end. Street Punk is a pretty relentless album in terms of volume and edge. Still, it's hard to think of it as ‘punk,’ simply because it's too much fun. Just as it was on "Hairdresser Blues" when Hunx couldn't achieve pure sadness, here he can't achieve pure anger. There's something about him that is just inescapably fun. So that's what you've got here: an album that is super fun and mad at you for thinking so.