I don’t throw out the “I guarantee if you’re reading Ninebullets, you’ll like this band” line that often. I think I’ve saved it for Nook & Cranny, Waller, and Pretty Boy Thorson–and I was right, right? But I don’t want to lean on that guarantee. As a reader, I wouldn’t like being reduced to what some hack writer assumes I must enjoy. I used it in those cases to say These bands are really important to me and I don’t take it for granted that I happened to be exposed to them at some point in time and I hope you take this opportunity to listen to them, as well, BECAUSE THE ODDS ARE AGAINST US ALL. WHEN WE MEET, IT IS SUPERNATURAL.
Sometimes when you hear a record for the first time, and those opening notes are keyed-in to some mood you forgot you could access through music, you just feel so fucking LUCKY that you happened to be at the right show, or that a reviewer happened to use one interesting phrase that he/she probably didn’t even think was important, or that you happened to take a minute to read that list of a band you like’s own favorite bands. When I heard the opening chords of Calling Out, it reminded me how flimsy my whole life of music is–it’s been built over years and years and I’ve done a lot of work reinforcing it with active listening and pursuit, by not being lazy about what I love, but still it’s all built on coincidence and circumstance. Those chords and Emerson Stevens’ voice take me back through the luckiest moments in that life, some of them not even really having to do with music directly–eating gazpacho at Pepper’s Pizza in Chapel Hill and studying the local band stickers stuck to the cash register, before I even knew that local bands were a thing; an Orlando band called The Pizza Boys having Five Star pizzas delivered to their show at The Fest and freely dispensed to the crowd; seeing my first Sebadoh show in Cambridge and running across the street to get a slice of white-bean and prosciutto pizza from Otto’s between sets. The mood those chords unlock in you may not have to do with pizza, but it will definitely entertain.
So, I’m throwing out that guarantee for a Northampton MA band called Bunny’s a Swine. A three-string guitar player, a six-string guitar player, and a drummer. Male and female vocalists. They’re in the country-driving-rock vein of Eleventh Dream Day, with injections of Fuzzy- or Pavement- or Beat Happening-like slop-pop, pulsing from a heart sewn of old Chunk Records. They’re fucking amazing, they will surprise and overtake you.