Hunx & His Punx, Too Young To Be In Love

Matthew Fritch

By Matthew Fritch

on 03.28.11 in Reviews

Meet Seth Bogart, a sensitive cosmetologist from Oakland who once toiled in musical obscurity with excitable electro-pop group Gravy Train!!!! and bared it all in an X-rated video for San Francisco lo-fi band Girls. As alter ego Hunx, however, Bogart is capable of exceptional feats, which he showcases on Too Young to Be in Love. Among his supernatural powers are the ability to rhyme "back" with "back" ("I wasn't lying when I told you he's coming back/ And he's a real big guy so you had better watch your back"); he can sound distracted to the point of inaudibility — as if he is not really in the studio while singing, or perhaps is texting while at the microphone (listen to the chorus of "Keep Away From Johnny"); and he has a knack for entering the minds of innocent teenagers, even though he is a man in his early 30s ("I should've listened to my mom/ I knew I shouldn't have taken you to that prom").

In a world where boys who can’t sing aren’t allowed to be lead vocalists in 1960s-style girl groups, only one hero was gay enough to defy the odds: Hunx

While Hunx is having a fabulous time at the sock hop — regaling us with tales of cheating hearts, bad boys and big-girl tears — the Punx do all the heavy lifting. His all-female quartet of backing musicians includes bassist Shannon Shaw, whose much-needed vocals on "Lovers Lane" and "The Curse Of Being Young" provide direct links to the sound of the Shangri-Las, Ronettes and Shirelles. But where those groups had a Wall of Sound, Hunx And His Punx are decidedly more attuned to the K Records school of loose, DIY production values; it's more of a Low-Lying Hedge of Sound or a Doll's House Fence of Sound that can be found on the garage-dazed Too Young To Be In Love. Closing track "Blow Me Away" would seem to be more suggestive than it actually is; Hunx has said the song's lyrics concern his father's suicide. At the end of a light, entertaining album filled with rather cute songs about gay teenage romance, that kind of personal revelation is a hard thing to swallow. That's what he said.