Nobunny made his name with catchy, party-ready garage pop, a barrage of bubblegum-infused hooks backed by speed and muscle and often boosted by a drum machine. Even though several of his best songs closely resembled the trashy garage, punk and power pop of old, it was the almost manically cheerful character singing them that gave his music an unsettling edge. Live, he commands attention as much for his killer hooks and punk rock ferocity as his onstage outfit of underwear and a terrifying bunny mask.
On Secret Songs, Nobunny once again delivers a parade of earworms, but this time, the emphasis is more on the hooks than the caricature behind them. It helps that Nobunny has near-total mastery of the ’70s-rock songbook: “Do the Stooge” begins with Hasil Adkins’s trademark cackle; there’s a Down South jauntiness to “Trouble in Mind” that’s a far cry from the 30-second snot punk of “Buried in a Bong.” He’s got soaring power pop (“My Blank Space”) and mid-tempo blues-rockers with deep dirtbag vocals (“Little Bo Bitch”), all of them topped with trademark Nobunny lyrics like, “I’m a dirty old man with a rotten sweet tooth.” Garage’s greatest creep has never sounded better.