ShareMY MARYANNE EP - Bunt (Turbonun)
Four new songs from a band of old hands and damned if there's not more energy in this old dog than a litter of younger Sydney pups. Two of the four cuts stand really out but there's no bad ones here, to be frank.

The title track incomes from their forthcoming album and is an absolute ball of neurosis that's coiled tighter than an exotic snake down a wildlife smuggler's pants on an episode of "Border Patrol". You'll believe Jon Bunt when he intones: "She's trouble right now" as the crisp production puts his insistent vocal front and centre. Big thumbs-up to Ryu Seita's inventive guitarwork and his engineering and mixing.

While "Don't Wanna Mess Around" is a solid enough foot-to-the-floor punk rocker with a pause for breath in the chorus, it pales a little by comparison. Good lyric, though.

On the other hand, "Baby. Baby. Baby" shakes itself into a righteous vengeful lather with a gnawing guitar figure and clipped rhythm. The song doesn't go many places you wouldn't expect but like a trusty fishing knife, it works effectively.

Bunt have been at it far longer but closer "Solid State" recalls Eddy Current Suppression. No revelations in this last one but it left me wanting to hear more. - The Barman


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BIRDLAND - Bunt (Turbo Nun Entertainment Group)
Sydney live fixture Bunt are bowling up their umpteenth album in the most uncertain of times - at least in their hometown. The arse has all but fallen out of the gig scene and the doors of venues and those seeming anachronisms called record stores are closing, one after another, in a depressing Domino Effect.

You get the feeling from "Birdland", however, that Bunt would survive this or any other nuclear winter. Their strange brew of creeping fuzz guitar, insistent rhythms and highly-strung vocal declamations generate an impenetrable, irresistible aural wave. Bunt play survivor music that's insistent and hectoring.

Personal politics are laid bare in these 11 songs of blues-based punk. The nerve endings are most fully exposed on "So Many Times", "I'm Leaving You" and "Song For A Lonely Man", the latter delving into Gentle Ben And His Sensitive Side territory. At other times, Bunt get right up into your face and shake you by the collar; "Formula" and "Get It All Right" are compelling rockers where you can feel the flecks of saliva on your face.

Jon Bunt's vocals live a lot in the upper register and cut to the quick, ranging from a hectoring sermon to a nuanced growl. Guitarist Ryu Seita splatters flecks of space rock harmonics over the fuzzy bedrock, littering the soundscape with feedback in the appropriate quiet spots.

It works exceedingly well on "I'm Leaving You", which is something of an extended sonic centrepiece that sits up against "No Escape, a foray into white man reggae. While that one doesn't work on its own, the segue straight into the frantic "Get Back" makes the sequence one of the album's most effective passages.

Closer "******'s Boogie" mixes megaphone-gated vocals and rusty slide with a hammerdown feel and rings in the ears until you hit the replay button.

You could come up with plenty of stylistic comparisons (I usually avoid 'em if I can) but there's a strong feeling here that Bunt are coming from similar places as Six Ft Hick as well as the bluesier and punkier reference points like the Stooges, the Dead Kennedys, the Birthday Party and the Buzzcocks.

"Birdland" sounds fantastic too, thanks to the talents of Lindsay Gravina. The album title refers, in tribute, to his Melbourne studio.

Keep an eye on their MySpace for dates (and to listen to a killer cover of the Saints' "Private Affair") and if you're in the neighbourhood they're touring Japan in October '09.
- The Barman



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