Hunx and His Punx | Too Young to Be in Love
Most Likely To: be one of the year’s catchiest and kitschiest releases.
Was it Plato or Donnybrook headmistress Angora Holly Polo who coined the phrase “Know thyself?” Regardless of origin, Hunx and His Punx embody the idea completely on their debut full-length, Too Young to Be in Love. (Yes, astute readers, Gay Singles [True Panther, 2009] preceded this release, but it’s a compilation of 7”s.) Hunx and His Punx meld glammy garage rock with girl-group sounds and doo-wop, all with a touch of irony and a lot of style.
On Too Young to Be in Love, Hunx (whose given name is Seth Bogart) fronts an all-girl backing band. Together they breathe new life into well-worn rock ‘n’ roll framework softened by female harmonies and clever lyrics. At first listen, Hunx and His Punx’s energy and bravado reminded me of The New York Dolls. As it turns out, there is a direct line from Hunx to Johnny Thunders and David Johansen. Too Young to Be In Love’s producer, Ivan Julian, was once in Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Richard Hell was in The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders. Ba da bing, ba da boom: New York Dolls.
Bogart’s manipulation of gender is thoroughly modern. Unlike The Dolls, he doesn’t need to dress up like a woman to make a statement. Hunx is a sassy brat whose persona works over garage rock as if it was getting ready for a night on the town. Turning to band mate Shannon Shaw for vocals on “Lovers Lane” and “The Curse of Being Young” adds a layer of hardened sweetness to the record.
Throughout Too Young to Be in Love, Hunx and His Punx music is so unencumbered and joyful that it is impossible not to get swept up in the group’s new wave of nostalgia.
Watch the video for “Bad Boy” by Hunx and His Punx: