Tunabunny – PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr.
Tunabunny have been many things during their nine-year lifespan: cultural agitators, musical destructionists (and catalysts for its subsequent salvation), post-pop savants, experimental arch-contrarians… it’s a busy schedule for anyone to keep up with, let along a four-piece band with day-to-day shit like college, kids and day jobs to distract them.
Well, looks like they can add a few more entries to that list, albeit nothing that can't be summed up by 'irresistible'. Fifth album PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr. (a 28-track double, no less) finds them playing with genre and structure as never before – weirdo electro-pop, sublime indie jangle, infectious post-punk stomp, faux-hip-hop groove and super-sparse atonality can all be found here, to name but a few of the sounds on display.
Sounds a lot to handle? Yeah, it is. But what flows throughout the record’s 75-minute running time is the same sense of boundless possibility that made their best records (particularly 2013’s Genius Fatigue) such a hair-raising delight.
Despite the sprawling track list, what Tunabunny’s recent offerings have nurtured is an artful concision; a masterly craft combined with a restless muse’s desire to fuck up that craft and temper melody with chaos. As such, PCP Presents… finds space to house both the heart-melting melodies of The Rest Of Us alongside outré mind-benders like Seek Consequence and the two-songs-for-the-price-of-one sucker punch of Magic January. Its themes are wide and varied, but the sense of dissatisfaction is clear (lyrics like ‘Anywhere is better than here’ and ‘I don’t think you know the way the world works’ stand out as sincere indicators of mood); that they let this unfold with manic glee only adds to the exhilaration.
They feel capable of anything, then; that much is clear. The Athens, Georgia outfit are also audibly driven by a deeply-felt love for their medium, which becomes increasingly infectious as the record advances. ‘Are you listening to me?’ Brigette Adair Herron asks on Boundless Informant, a commanding whisper amidst a burbling flutter of drums that toe the line between discomfort and warmth, and a negative response seems unfathomable.
Revolution is what this band have always seemed like they might inspire, and for the first time, they make that explicit – second track Incinerate hisses its desire to raze this rotten world to the ground atop a slinky stretch of art-funk that’s part Pylon, half-rapped and almost certainly the finest pop song Tunabunny have yet recorded. Listen and love: this lo-fi masterpiece deserves nothing less than your full attention.
Listen to: Incinerate, Blackwater Homes, It Could Be Something, Magic January