Hairdresser Blues


aec.haar73052.2 2/28/12 New

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Review Text On Too Young to Fall in Love, the debut long-player from Bay Area glitter garage superstars Hunx & His Punx, the band ripped through a dazzling set of unthinkably catchy songs steeping in equal parts glam, bubblegum, and '70s punk. The combination of great songs and an antics-heavy live show cemented the group in a lineage of flamboyantly fun performers and also centered around frontman Hunx's larger-than-life persona. Hunx (also known as Seth Bogart) returns minus the Punx on Hairdresser Blues, an only slightly less uproarious solo set that manages to retain all the winning elements of the full-band recordings while opening up new emotional territory that didn't quite fit in with the screaming party that raged all night on Too Young to Fall in Love. Starting out with the acoustic guitar strums and devotional crooning of "Your Love Is Here to Stay" could demark a sleepy and comfortably boring change of direction, but the mood lifts immediately following. The yeah-yeah-yeah choruses of "Private Room" and girl group update of "I'm Not the One You Were Looking For" fall in line with the Motown gone glam vibe of the previous album pretty precisely. Collaborating solely with Punx drummer Daniel Pitout and occasional backing vocalists, Bogart plays most of the instruments and sings from a place more honest than on previous efforts. The classically themed naïveté of simple rhyme schemes and "oldies radio in a John Waters movie" camp made Too Young to Fall in Love fun and crackling, and while those elements are in place on Hairdresser Blues, things get exponentially more interesting when Hunx breaks character and allows his songs to become more venerable. "Say Goodbye Before You Leave (For Jay)" is an incredibly direct reminiscence of Bogart's close friendship with Jay Reatard that developed in the year before his passing. "Hairdresser Blues" is just as pained, a horrified tale of recurring nightmares that finds as little resolution as the song mourning his friend's death. Ping-ponging from restlessly questioning moments like these to the bizarro space-glam of album highlight "Do You Remember Being a Roller?" could be jarring if they were delivered with less panache or even a hint of self-consciousness, but Bogart manages to present them as equally valid parts of a singular personality. With only the title track cracking the three-minute mark (by a mere 17 seconds), the ten songs on Hairdresser Blues fly by, and congeal with repeat listens. The intangible main attraction of Hunx & His Punx is Bogart's undeniable frontman persona. Hairdresser Blues offers a more intimate window in to a more down-to-earth personal world, allowing room for that enormous persona to be folded back into the greater sum of Bogart's infectious songwriting personality. ~ Fred Thomas

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Your Love Is Here to Stay - 3:35
  2. 2. Private Room - 3:48
  3. 3. Let Me In - 3:35
  4. 4. Always Forever - 2:08
  5. 5. Hairdresser Blues - 3:16
  6. 6. Do You Remember Being a Roller? - 2:29
  7. 7. I'm Not the One You Were Looking For - 3:32
  8. 8. Set Them Free - 3:46
  9. 9. Say Goodbye Before You Leave [For Jay] - 2:28
  10. 10. When You're Gone - 3:55

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