Written by: Dave Cantrell
“Kingdom Technology is a fertile, daring, fully gratifying piece of work, a fractured masterpiece of rock pushed off its own deep end to startling and welcome effect, placing Tunabunny in a league with Deerhoof and precious few others.” This is just one of the hyper-enthused and much deserved declaratives we showered on T’bunny’s last record, a release that seriously loosened the calipers on whatever semblance of critical sanity we still possessed at that point. coming on like the missing link between label-mates Bastards of Fate and, say, the Residents, a formulation that in itself captures both the difficulty in pigeonholing this lot and the fact that the closest anyone comes to that task will invariably invoke some of the most excitingly outré pop the world has known (that one of the tracks on that album prompted us to liken it to “the Fire Engines with an American accent” should provide further evidence as to the uncharted territories Tunabunny has no qualms trespassing). Thus it should come as no surprise that we were utterly thrilled to be offered the opportunity to premier their upcoming album, the gloriously named PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr, a (no duh) double album released this Friday, June 23rd on HHBTM Records. That a track-by-track synopsis was included in the package takes us past grateful and into delirious, not least because the text reflects with a similarly offhand panache the rigorous irreverence that drives their work. So have a listen while you have a read – it’s the new multi-tasking and it’s all the rage – and then get your pre-order groove on here. We love this job.
BREAK IT DOWN, TUNABUNNY!
Tunabunny PCP Song Defenestrations
What the fuck is consciousness and what good does it do us anyway. Psychic paralysis, an inability to break out of your rut, observing yourself observing the self you’re observing as that self ceases to exist as anything more than an oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange system, manifesting itself in panic attacks accompanied by crushing headaches. Surely it’s just a coincidence that all the sounds on this one came from a baby swing someone gave us. Every journey begins w/a single step, or in this case, a hesitation. Discordant as hell, but because it embodies every theme to come on the album and sounds like plunging down the ferret hole, it had to go first on the album.
Pop candy laced with revolution. The difference between swagger and stagger is a single letter. This song is about being on fire, in all the ways it’s possible to be on fire, when you’re pissed off with the world. The word ‘state’ could refer to a state of mind, a government, or a geographic location. In the case of this song, it refers to all three.
Tbunny rocks out & shows off its chops—a bass solo AND a guitar solo? Get too loud on a Thursday night and your neighbor leaves a note like this in your mailbox. Makes it easier to write the lyrics though.
It Could Be Something
Brigette got a mini-Korg for her birthday and found a Fine Young Cannibals CD at the Goodwill, and this is the result. The verse is just the chords F and G back & forth b/c all the best Human League songs (Being Boiled, Don’t You Want Me, Love Action) are just F and G back & forth.
Scott got an e-reader for xmas and d/l’d a free sequencer app, then spent a couple hours trying to sound like Timbaland. We added some guitar and bass, but it sounded too funky so we ran it all backwards. Each one of us need to seek consequence now more than ever. Put the pressure on.
Fumbling in the metaphorical dark, Mary Jane sees her breath form words against the glass as she sings. If prime-era Flying Nun sold real estate, their agency (probably called Surreal Estate) would use this for a jingle.
A post-punk tango of paranoia & dread. Think it was Nixon who said a paranoid is just someone who has all the facts.
Began as Pylon meets Public Image Ltd. but somehow ended up like GBV. Whatever. GBV’s cool too. This song’s a good motivator on cold winter days when the sky is a low-hanging blanket the color of dishwater and electrically charged w/vast amounts of static. Slowed the recording down a bit to get the cool splashy effect on the cymbals just like the Beatles used to.
Most music writers are too busy to google so we’ll just lay it out: Boundless Informant is the name of one of the NSA programs that spies—I mean, ‘data collects’—on US citizens. Layer upon layer of meaning. The sound of being overheard while you are also in the act of overhearing, a panopticon of psychic ice. Or talking back to your eavesdropper while a Tbunny conversation takes place in the background.
Nevermind The Cobblestones
Tbunny embraces their love of Fleetwood Mac. This one dances across the idea of geopolitical dread. Thinking of death & internment camps has never sounded so fun! Brigette wanted the ending to do a thing like the end of Rudderless by the Lemonheads, but the band wasn’t able to make it happen. Stupid band.
Yellow Heart Is My Sky Sign
Electronic Slits? Hell yeah, electronic Slits! Lyrics about alchemy? Hell yeah, lyrics about alchemy! Incantation leads to liberation when you’re living in constipation nation.
Singing Wallace Stevens around the campfire accompanied by Tom Sawyer synths and electric melodica. The ability to maintain perspective is what keeps us from going insane.
The Way The World Works
Wherein Bananarama sings about the delusions of foreign policy academics & the delusions of popstars—each of whom are just different sides of the same lustful coin. Music’s a cross between Sonic Youth and 96 Tears. Maybe some Blondie in there too.
Half of what we say is meaningless.
You say it’s your birthday, it’s my birthday too. First recorded heartbeat of a new life.
Sometimes all you need is a good beat. Features background vocals from Jason Wells of HHBTM labelmates The Bastards of Fate, and guitar skronk from a precocious infant. Buried deep in the mix for a few seconds is the solo from ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’ b/c the chord progression’s kind of similar.
The Rest Of Us
The latest in a series of Tbunny fight songs. Brigette’s miniKorg has a setting that sounds like ‘Just Like Heaven’ so we used it. If we had any money it would’ve been a string section. Morrissey should hurry up and cover this one before he dies.
Me And Nancy
A Syd Barrett sea shanty about girls who like to fuck shit up and the male oafs who don’t understand them. Consumerism as a latent revolutionary impulse, a yearning to escape from one’s chains. Call and response in the tyrannical home.
Pretending To Bend
Sounded too much like Joy Division so we pitchshifted the guitars so they sound like being attacked by wasps instead of rock-swagger. Then we added a dance break. The lyrics seemed metaphorical when we wrote it, but the odds of this scenario happening keep increasing every day.
Count To Ten
Bossa nova beats about being afraid to speak up. The guitar part is, uh, adapted from a Yoko Ono song. Hopefully this one will get us on Sesame Street. All kinds of ‘hey what does that button do’ types of sonic exploration going on here.
Crippling Depression: the first part’s told from the perspective of the afflicted, the second from a journalist trying to piece together what became of the afflicted.
Here begins a suite of songs about transformation into, and through, motherhood (and, to some extent, fatherhood). The first five songs are all in the same key (D major). We could explain how each line relates to the concept, but when you dissect a frog the frog tends to die in the process.
Pitocin Induction Hour
its hour come round at last, what rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem, Georgia to be born. Title reappropriated from The Fall.
Images of Future Selves
Brigette channeled Camper Van Beethoven’s David Lowery as she sang but you might not if we didn’t tell you. How this relates to the medley should be obvious.
Come Feed Your Dogs
Not actually about dogs, it’s more about the responsibility we have to our dependents, four-legged or otherwise. Musically inspired by Robyn Hitchcock’s I Often Dream of Trains.
Work It Around
The parasite-like demands of a newborn, coupled w/the lack of regular sleep, can fracture a new parent’s identity into a million pieces—an obliteration of selfhood. A lot of these lyrics were written while driving around in the car listening to the wordless versions of these songs and we linked up the phone recording to the real one, allowing them to go in & out of phase.
And sometimes words fail and everything you experience is filtered through translucent glass. A mute nightmare. You did everything right to change the world, but somehow you failed as everything is slipping off its axis and in cyberspace nobody can hear you scream.
I Thought I Caught It With You
Emerging from the darkness—your friends are still your friends, and not only are you still yourself, you might be a slightly better self than you were before. Repetition is a form of change and a vote for Tbunny is a vote for repetition we can believe in. This one’s a well-deserved victory lap for a band that, over the course of an album, tunneled through some shit and come out the other side. Check out that rhythm section. Check out the skronk. Check out the disco! We did a live version of this song at a festival this year where Brigette recreated David Lee Roth’s ‘Panama’ breakdown monologue while acting like she was reading it out of a Kathy Acker book, and this right here explains, in a sense, everything that ever needed explaining about Tunabunny—the how, the what, and the why.