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Ultrabunny - Volume Merchants/Unsafe at Any Age LP (TPOS)

Ultrabunny Volume Merchants Unsafe at Any Age TPOS
10 August 2011

Why Ultrabunny haven’t come into my life before now defies all reasoning. The band is a trio comprised of two members of GG Allin and the Bloody Apostles -guitarist Bobby Bunny and bassist Malcolm Tent, who also served a few years with one of America’s best, most influential black metal bands, Profanatica – and Pete Beest on drums, though the drummer on this LP appears to be Doc Prorock. Their music could almost be called no wave, as it consists of improvised punk rock explosions and noise, but instead of looking to the past, Ultrabunny are about the present tense, here and now.

The LP is comprised of two “suites,” one on each side, although “war” appears in every song title with some not-so-subtle nods to classic punk rock, i.e., Black Flag (“My War” at the end of “Volume Merchants”) and Crass (“Fight War” and “Not Wars” in “Unsafe at Any Age”). Shorter tracks tend to be bursts of ear-splitting guitar-loop noise, but it’s really when the drums dominate that Ultrabunny’s musical chaos thrives. It’s a lot like The Cows or God Bullies without the rigid song structures. When vocals creep in, they’re twisted, nightmarish distortions.

“Large War” from “Volume Merchants” and “Fight War” stand out as the most driving punk rock songs, featuring insistent bass grooves, crashing drums and MC5/Stooges-like guitar jamming, even a bit of Controlled Bleeding in their more rock modes.

It’s difficult to do improvisation right. When done wrong, it can be agonizingly boring self-congratulating masturbation that goes nowhere and does nothing except waste the audience’s time. But when it’s on, as it is here, it’s dead on.

Long live Ultrabunny!