by Charlotte Collins
HUNNY’s newest release Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. is a dynamic mix of sad boy lyrics and surf rock sounds, perfect for an early morning drive after a recent heartbreak. The band’s sound is solidified with this release, which arrived four years after the release of their first EP,Pain / Ache / Loving. YYYYY has a decidedly upbeat swing to it, following the band’s inspiration in beachy punk rock. The album also introduces vocalists other than lead singer Jason Yarger into the mix, including appearances by bassist and keyboardist Kevin Grimmett and an appearance by Bleached lead singer Jennifer Calvin.
The album chronicles a story of love and loss, with each song coming back to an all consuming, dangerous love that Yarger can’t seem to shake. The album opens with “Lula, I’m Not Mad,” the album’s first promotional single. The track’s catchy chorus and clean repeating guitar riff identifies it as the album’s naturally designated single. This track also comes to represent the entire album – raw, cutting lyrics paired with an upbeat drumbeat and music. The music video is fittingly angsty and alternative, featuring the band riding through scenic streets in a vintage car and a repeating shot of hipster shoes scrawled with the lyrics of the chorus.
“A Slow Death in Pacific Standard Time” tells the story of self destructive tendencies that arise from love, which Yarger describes as a “knife in my side.” “Smarter Ways of Saying It” slows the album down, providing the album’s one obvious downer track. The song is only one minute and five seconds long, lending it the impression of more of a thought than a completed song, in the best way possible. This track is simple, honest, and broken down, making it one of my favorites on the album.
“Ritalin” provides the one divergence from the theme of love and heartbreak, instead telling of a drug-fueled night spent with friends. While remaining an upbeat tempo, the song talks about drugs in a realistic light, referring to them as a way to “warm” his body and make him feel better while making him act in a way that makes him “hard to adore.” The album ends on “Halloween,” a self-deprecating and slightly comedic song referring to Yarger as a dead-beat college student who couldn’t get his shit enough together to remember Halloween or win back his lover’s affection.
The whole album reads as an ode to teenage angst – lust, love, drugs and debilitating heartbreak – specifically occurring in either the strip of Venice Beach or at a grungy basement party in LA. The consistency of this vibe creates a niche that HUNNY fills well, with the creative lyricism of songs like “Halloween” proving their originality in songwriting. This album transforms me into an alternative, Cali surfer version of the angsty teenager I never really stopped being and I’d say that getting to live this life for even the brief twenty-one minutes of this album’s run time is enough to make me say YES myself.