Bunnydrums To Reptile 12″
Under what conditions do folks generally welcome a live release? When it’s by a seminal act with a relatively large back catalog of hits (It’s Alive)? When it’s a particularly exceptional performance (Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963)? When it’s by a beloved band that burned too hot or was shrouded in mystery and folks are clamoring to gain any additional insights (anything from Mark Winter bands)? When it’s aimed at a relatively large audience of sickos (the FUGAZI live series)? What we have here is a four-track 12”—the digital version has two bonus tracks—culled from a 1984 live performance by post-punk group BUNNYDRUMS. Does it meet any of the above conditions? It does not. BUNNYDRUMS, a Philadelphia act that grew out of the ashes of first-wave punk unknowns the BONEHEADS, are at best an interesting footnote in American post-punk history. They existed as part of an odd scene at an awkward time when new wave and post-punk were beginning to coalesce into alternative rock. Insofar as this release does anything, it perhaps provides a decent snapshot of that moment. But, honestly, I would think one of their two studio LPs, 1983’s P•K•D or 1984’s Holy Moly (the former of which is pretty good!), would better serve that purpose. That’s not to say this is bad. I actually quite like the instrumental track that closes out the record—it reminds me a lot of the early OH SEES, when they were at their CRAMPS-iest. I just don’t know who’s asking for this thing. It looks like these guys were big in the Netherlands for some reason-—it’s the only other country that issued their LPs, and this performance took place in Wageningen, so maybe the Dutch. For this label’s sake, I hope so.