Too Young to Be in Love

Hunx & His Punx

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Too Young to Be in Love Review

by Tim Sendra

Since he was a member of Gravy Train!!!!, singer/hairdresser/bon vivant Hunx has made a name for himself as an out-and-proud, teen-from-Mars crooner. The first batch of singles he released honed this to perfection, resulting in a treasure trove of great rock & roll love songs. On the first full-length Hunx & His Punx record, Too Young to Be in Love, the focus is on the Punx as much as it is on his oversized persona. The four women in the band contribute songs, vocals, and tough-as-nails musical backing that splits the difference between '50s soda shop pop and smeared mascara '60s girl group sounds, and adds a big splash of ramshackle punk. Chief among the Punx is Shannon Shaw (of Shannon & the Clams); her powerful voice and skilled songwriting make her the leader of the pack. Everyone contributes, though, and Amy Blaustein's wheezy Farfisa is a vital part of the sound and Michelle Santamaria's lead guitar playing is economical and biting. The group vocals that provide the response to Hunx's bleeding-heart vocals are wonderful throughout, happily sassy and full of soul. Hunx, too, is surprisingly full of soulful longing this time. There’s far less strut and wiggle on Too Young -- Hunx spends more time lamenting lost love than he does celebrating. It sounds like he’s been hurt and while it may seem like he’s too frivolous and fun to convey pain, that’s really not the case. Songs like "If You’re Not Here (I Don’t Know Where You Are)" and "Blow Me Away" may sound like silly pop confections on the surface, but, though he’s not a belter by any means, Hunx's vocals have a surprising emotional power. It helps that Shaw is there to back him up, but even if she weren’t this would be more than a novelty record. Thanks to the hooky and familiar songs, the exciting performances, and the perfectly executed aesthetic, Too Young to Be in Love is simply and truly a great rock & roll record.

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