Nobunny

First Blood

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Most folks think bunnies are cute and harmless, but ask anyone who has a garden and you'll get a different answer -- rabbits are destructive little creatures who will devour anything in their path, and everyone knows that they'll get busy with another willing bunny at the drop of a hat. Justin Champlin may call himself Nobunny, but there's more than a little rabbit in this guy, and you can hear it loud and clear on his second album, First Blood. (The word "album" may be generous -- the 11 songs spin by in less than 25 minutes -- but we'll let that slide this time.) First Blood is less aggressive and more playful than much of Nobunny's earlier work, but he still leaves a trail of guitar noise and fractured pop hooks in his wake on several of these tunes, especially "Gone for Good" and "Motorhead with Me," and while some of the other numbers are significantly more polite, there's a mildly warped undertow to "Pretty Please Me" and "Pretty Little Trouble" that twists their playful surfaces into something a bit sharper and wilder. "(Do The) Fuck Yourself" sums up Nobunny's sexual economy pretty well, while "Never Been Kissed" is less blunt but gives his lustful side a fair and open airing. And "I Was On (The Bozo Show)" is a memory from childhood that walks a fine line between nostalgia and reminding us why so many kids are creeped out by clowns. Nobunny handled most of the vocals and instruments himself on First Blood and even held down the engineering on three cuts, while Jason Testasecca's recording and mixing skills allow this album to sound lo-fi in the right way without an excess of slop getting in the way of the music. If First Blood isn't as frantic as the earlier Love Visions, one thing's obvious -- even when Nobunny is cute, this silly rabbit sure ain't harmless.

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