Hunx & His Punx/Hunters Hard Luck Bar, Toronto ON, August 22
Published Aug 23, 2013If you needed further proof that the fey indie that's ruled rock for the past decade was on the wane, look no further than the current tour pairing fierce New York group Hunters with San Francisco's garage-rock heroes Hunx and his Punx. Both bands harken back to classic underground touchstones.
Backed by thundering bass and drums, Hunters announced themselves with cacophonous noise and frontwoman Isabel Almeida's rebel yell. Bounding around the stage, spinning in circles and straddling the monitors, Almeida is a magnetic presence that threatens to distract from the band's bludgeoning assault. But singer-guitarist Derek Watson's slashing riffs, that borrow heavily from artists like Kurt Cobain to Nick Zinner, ensure that the rest of the band aren't forgotten. The band played a short set of tunes from their EP and forthcoming full-length, which should finally break the band outside of their native Brooklyn.
Hunx frontman Seth Bogart and singer-bassist Shannon Shaw bring a similar dynamic to the stage, with Shaw grounding Bogart's ADD-addled stage persona. Think Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and Ana Matronic if they were brought up on the Ramones and Misfits instead of Elton John and Pet Shop Boys and you'll get a pretty good sense of what a Hunx and His Punx show is like.
Touring behind the more aggressive Street Punk, the quartet both played and looked the part; new tracks "Bad Skin" and "Born Blonde" were whipped off early in the set while Bogart sported a unitard covered in band logos from the likes of Crass and Bikini Kill. Yet the punked-up sound didn't take away from the band's previous 60s garage rock incarnation on "Keep Away from Johnny."
Bogart playfully baited the audience between songs while running into a punk rock version of a wardrobe malfunction while trying to shed his unitard. Unable to get his right shoe off, the singer, who had stripped down to a tight speedo, performed "Everyone's a Pussy" with the rest of his outfit dangling off his foot. As if to make up for the gaff, the band played the half-minute tune twice.
The band left the stage following fan favourite "Lover's Lane," which features some great vocals from the totally underrated Shaw, before returning for a brief encore. Capping the night off with their cover of Beastie Boys hardcore classic "Egg Raid on Mojo" and "Rat Bag."
Both Hunters and Hunx and His Punx are groups whose ambition and personality far outstrip the size of venues they're currently playing. As the indie tide turns, expect big things from both in the very near future.