Spirit Bunny: Spirit Bunny

Spirit Bunny, Brisbane’s fairly hirsute, circuit-bent art rockers from the increasingly gentrified West End, have arrived with their self-titled debut album. Having drip-fed singles for what seems like, and probably actually is, years, the trio have turned out a surreptitiously monstrous body of work.

To ensure that we’re all on board: circuit bending is a big part, both literally and figuratively, of what Spirit Bunny do. The practice of circuit bending is where you essentially short circuit anything electronic and see what sound it makes. It was discovered back in the '60s by Reed Ghazala and he's still -to this day- re-wiring the innids of Gameboys, cash-registers and Furbys. Spirit Bunny’s Kate Thomas rocks two growling circuit bent Commodore 64 keyboards alongside of bandmate Joel Saunders’ chaotic, circuit bent Casio SK5. At this point, if you’re still unsure what's going on, imagine a Tickle-Me-Elmo, where you pull out his guts, engage in some free-wheelin’ soldering on its chipboard, re-assemble the seemingly innocent little whatever-it's-meant-to-be and give that furry red tummy a tickle. Where you’re expecting a cute “giggle, giggle, that tickles.” once circuit bent, Elmo is now more likely to snarl “Child’s soul, bought and sold.” and then shoot saw waves from it’s glowing eyes. It's not that Spirit Bunny are inherently evil but they do address prospective evils in an unorthodox way.

You see, Spirit Bunny are a West End band and that's a place that was once full of bohos and hippies, of felafel and pool halls; but with every building application approved, twenty couples of young pros move in and so: you’re now paying fifteen dollars for a shot of gelato or eating at restaurants serving up artisanal skewers of chicken heart slivers. What I’m getting at is Spirit Bunny’s technological obfuscation and Warhol-like approach to twisting the reproduction of cultural artefacts is really quite appropriate, given the state of their streets. Just listen to their tracks like Amen Skew, with its contorted amen break or Living Entertainment and its cut-up lifestyle magazine lyrics. That Elmo facade, that cute and curious beast of creativity and consumerism is essentially what this album is.

Speaking of cold, callous consumerism, to boil it down to the utter RIYL: if you’re into Battles or Deerhoof, then Spirit Bunny are for you. That strange end of rock music where punk destruction and arty re-appropriation come together to project something subversively twee, is Spirit Bunny.

-NJR.

Album Details

Album Title: Spirit Bunny
Artist: Spirit Bunny
Record Label: (Indie)