Masked anti-hero NOBUNNY has always created the kind of music that gives you that extra push you need to careen into the glorious sucking sands of sad-sack debauchery — the kind of tunes that incite you to get drunk, bash up your knees in a moshpit, ruminate on all of your mistakes and then wake up tomorrow and do it all again. “Bye Bye Roxie,” the leading track off of his upcoming album, Secret Songs — followup to 2010’s First Blood — upholds that grand tradition of wallowing in overly extended adolescence.
NOBUNNY — a.k.a. Justin Champlin — was born on Easter 2001, the day that Joey Ramone died. Decked out in a tatty rabbit mask, shrunken leather jacket and red undies, NOBUNNY cuts an odd figure — a weird mixture of childish innocence, overt, messy sexuality and, at times, sad, quiet introspection. His music is similarly erratic, but in the same way a unmuscled man in a rabbit mask shouldn’t be sexy but is, NOBUNNY’s tunes are undeniable earworms.
“Bye Bye Roxie” comes in on a wave of guitars and cymbals, winding up to Champlin’s snotty, sing-song voice stating almost gleefully, “The first things that came to my mind were burn it all down and leave nothing behind/Another way don’t worry about tomorrow.” The nihilism marches on, punctuated by self-aware sadness that NOBUNNY only lets pop out of the rabbit hole briefly before planting tongue firmly in cheek with lines like, “I’m getting worried about my health/I’m sick of lying to myself/and I’ll see you all in hell.”
One of the album’s darker songs — the crashdown comedown after the manic merrymaking on other tracks — “Bye Bye Roxie” highlights the dark side of living in the now — living for oneself — while also never promising to stop.
Not to end this post on a down note, we’re also stoked to hear that NOBUNNY’s nonsense vintage-y dance instruction track “Do The Stooge” will appear on Secret Songs. If you ever want to feel like tripping out in public sans drugs, we highly recommend watching NOBUNNY performing that track on Chicago children’s show “Chic-A-Go-Go,” undulating shirtless among a sea of costumed children.
You are very welcome.
Secret Songs drops on October 15 via Goner Records.