Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Bunny Austin “Shadow Life”

Rock/Power pop
Named after the British tennis player from the 1930s, the Birmingham-based rock band Bunny Austin is hoping to score with their first album, “Shadow Life”. Their influences mainly include power pop, but you’ll hear a smattering of retro garage rock and punk in their sound too. Bunny Austin includes Charles Arndt (Plaid Camels) on guitar and vocals, Rich Albright (Altamont, Muddy King) on bass, Tony Oliver on keys, and Tommy Prewitt (Month of Sundays) on the drums.

Some strong suits in the band include excellent dynamic bass lines, with lively piano or organ augmenting the predominant fuzzy guitars. There is a palpable urgency in the band’s playing, not unlike the great Jim Carroll Band. Nothing on the record is unlistenable (although “Let The Power Fall” gets tedious) but I do wish more tracks had sharper, better developed hooks. I hasten to add that there are plenty songs that get under your skin. “Sparks” is the most accessible, radio-friendly track. Also notable is the dance rock of “I Can’t Take It No More”, the harmonious “Myra”, the breezy “You Were The One”, and the Knack inspired “Make It Last For Now”.

The chemistry is just starting to brew for Bunny Austin. “Shadow Life” is exuberant, radiating with the energy typically associated with that first record. With continued honing of their craft and development of more harmonies, Bunny Austin stands a good chance of hopping out of the shadows of their influences to become an influence themselves.

Bunny Austin – Official site.

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