Bunnygrunt – Matt Harnish & Other Delights

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

Hailing from St. Louis in the early ‘90s, Bunnygrunt was a band whose (hilarious) name I came across often in reading about twee-pop/cuddlecore bands, and I was ultimately able to track down a couple of their discs. They often name their albums after people in the band, with offerings like Jen-Fi and Karen Haters Club. One of their songs is on the Bad Santa soundtrack. They are basically a guitar/drum duo, with friends filling in on the other instruments. 

What I Think of This Album

There is almost no set of circumstances which would compel me to recommend this album to anyone, but it’s super enjoyable. The sound is basically sloppy indie-pop, but not the light tweepop that this band is somehow associated with (maybe their earlier stuff hews closer to that genre – I owned Jen-Fi at one point but don’t remember much about it), as the guitars are a lot nastier than you’ll usually get from those kinds of bands. Guitarist Matt Harnish and drummer Karen Ried share or trade vocals, though it’s usually Ried out front in the mix.

There are ten songs on here and seven of them are worthwhile, which is a pretty good ratio. Jokily satanic “665 & ½ Won’t Do” has a blistering lead guitar part and some bright horns. The “do do do”s don’t really work on “The Limits of Southern Hospitality,” but the vocal melody is good and Ried’s delivery is charming. “Shotgun” sounds like a very ‘90s rocker. Winsome “Don’t Turn Down the High” nonetheless offers a massive, fractured, feedback-fueled guitar solo. “S. Kingshighway Bubblegum Factory” indeed has an infectious, sticky bubblegum melody, and the guitars again steal the show. “Where Eagles Dare, Part II” is slinky and reverb-heavy on the vocals, redolent of longing and sorrow – whether the title is meant to reference Iron Maiden or the Misfits (or more likely, neither) is unclear. “You Get What You Get” struts by on Ried’s insistent vocals. And to be clear, the other three songs are in no way bad – they just don’t make much an impression on me.

Apparently, Ried and Harnish have a side project that plays Blondie covers called . . . Blondiegrunt. You have to love that.

The Best Thing About This Album

The unexpectedly gnarly guitars are the star of this album.

Release Date

September, 2009

The Cover Art

It’s neither good nor bad. I’m confused as to why drummer Ried is depicted as playing bass, but whatever; maybe that’s how they do it live. The back of the booklet has a shot of a topless Harnish that parodies the cover of Herb Alpert’s Whipped Cream & Other Delights. This is the second album I am aware of that pulls this trick, the first being Soul Asylum’s Clam Dip & Other Delights EP from 1989 (which showed bassist Karl Mueller sitting in an unholy mix of sour cream, paint, whipped cream, and, I guess, clam).

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