Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs
The powers that be - those invested in the stork that delivered Seth Bogart, all diapered and coochie-cooing, with a smack on the ass, into the arms of his mommy on that day however many 20-some years ago - determined that the young guy would be destined to feel heartbreak's pain at harmful levels. That vicious bird put its wing on the top of the swaddled and sleeping Bogart's modestly-haired head and transferred into him the easy-to-ache ticker that has gone on to make the man a drama queen when it comes to emotions and all of the important little things that come along with making yourself available and hence, vulnerable. Bogart, the thinly-mustachioed front man - Hunx, if you will - of the Bay Area boy-girl group Hunx and His Punx, sounds as if he's been shredded by those he's fallen in love with more times than he'd like to remember, but he's sure willing to recount them in his band's songs of distressed mental and emotional health. He's been given love enough times to have been denied it and to have felt it be ripped away from him even more times and he's not calloused himself to be okay with it.
He's the kind of person who holes up in his room with old movies, a tub of ice cream and a box of Kleenex and just stays there until the tears are gone and he's been able to wring out as much of the sadness as he possibly can. It's just a little more scar tissue to add to that middle part of his body and, in the process, some new cautionary tales that he can remind himself of when he starts getting too close or too serious with another love. We wouldn't want to be presumptuous, but Bogart seems like the kind of lover who has a long memory and still, we feel as if it might be a selective memory, one that is more than willing to be foolish once again, thinking that things could be different this time around. It's a beautiful optimism, albeit one that springs from a place of disregarding experience, doomed to repeat the same mistakes with that careless heart. Bogart and his Punx - the ladies of Erin Emalie, Shannon Shaw, Michelle Santamaria and Amy Blaustein - spin these moments of perceived loss into songs that sometimes come across as examples of attempts at the wholesome relationship, just gone bad. A character that sounds as if could have Bogart back in high school decides to go to the prom with an ill-fated crush on the song "Too Young To Be In Love," the title track from the group's latest album and he sounds like a hurt teenager, wronged for the very first time, singing, "I should have listened to my mom/I never shouldn't have taken you to that prom." He dreams of the hand-holding and the making out, the happy endings that are tough to get to. He dreams and sings of these things in an old-timey way - with lovers lanes and bubble-gum popping, the batting of eyes and the coy touches. He hopes for the quintessential kind of love at first sight that last forever, but destiny mocks him often.
Hardly Art Records