Review by: Mandie Garcia
Emerging from the garage-rock revival scene headed by Jay Reatard, Hunx and His Punx bring the fun, classic sound of 60s surf-rock and classic punk with their first full length album, “Too Young to be In Love,” released through Hardly Art Records in March 2011. The Hunx and His Punx sound is best compared to 1960s garage bands like, The Kinks, New York Dolls, Dave Clark Five, and the Soft Boys. The dirty, rough sound of these bands helped shape punk music before it officially broke through with the Sex Pistols in 1979. This trend in music is famous for its radio-friendly, sing-along style that easily appeals to the non-punk fan.
All ten tracks on “Too Young to be In Love,” describe teen angst, heartbreak, and being bullied in witty, very humorous ways. The tracks are all catchy enough to be played in any top 40 line-up and hold their own against any mainstream pop hit. The track, “Keep Away from Johnny,” a song about a heartbreaker with bad intentions named Johnny, is reminiscent of the first all-girl garage band: The Shangri-Las.
Hunx and his Punx just added a group of girl back-up singers to their tour line-up that really adds to that fun, dramatic aspect The Shangri-Las made famous. The Shangri-Las included dating advice inbetween tracks, and spoken monologues most notably heard in their most famous song: “Leader of the Pack.” Hunx and his Punx are headed by gay, male vocalist Seth Bogard—a very important, unique trait that puts a fresh modern twist on telling the story of naïve, innocent teen love. Bogard's affeminate singing voice gives tracks like: “Tonight, Tonight,” a genuine and sweet feeling of adolescent vulnerablilty as he begs his lover: “please I don't wanna be alone tonight...I just wanna be in your arms tonight.” “Too Young to be In Love” kicks off with the track: “Lover's Lane,” a perfect preview of the ballad-like storytelling of hope and heartbreak the rest of the album has in store. Female backing vocals provide “ooo wah ooo's” throughout the entire song; while Bogard alternates between singing, “I wanna go to lover's lane,” and spoken parts like: “when he left I was doing fine, oh but I wish I would've kissed him one last time...and now he's gone.” Bogard successfully communicates with his listeners ten stories of being dumped through ten tracks, none of which prove to be a weak effort.
There's so many notable ways Hunx and His Punx make their music fun and refreshing. Listeners can enjoy a sense of humor in songs like “Bad Boy.” “Bad Boy,” is a song about an ex-boyfriend who stood Bogard up at the state fair, accompanied by female vocalists angrily shouting: “I rode the tunnel of love all alone!!!” This very promising debut album from Hunx and His Punx and is a fun treat for any garage rock fan. Bogard's flamboyant vocal stylings haven't been seen in music since The Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley became the poster boy for teen angst. This, paired with the melodrama and “doo whaa” style of 1960s garage rock give “Too Young to be In Love” the drawing power to appeal to all music fans. The, “My Boyfriend's Back,” sing-along stylings of Hunx and His Punx on tracks like: “He's Coming Back,” and “The Curse of Being Young,” solidify the band's status of being a refreshing buzz band in music media right now.