By Victoria Roxanne Hill
Album: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Release Date: July 19, 2019
As promised in 2015, Hunny made a mess of July with the release of their debut full-length album Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The punk Cali boys came back from their last EP in 2018 and hit us twice as hard with their lovesick tunes. This album wouldn’t have been possible without the help of some of our KTSW favorites. YYYYY was produced by Grammy-Winning sound engineer Carlos De La Garza, who has worked with many artists including M83, Cherry Glazerr, Wavves and the list goes on. It also features vocals from Jennifer Calvin of Bleached.
The album begins with “Lula, I’m Not Mad” the first of three singles released this spring (technically, “Halloween” was released in the summer). It was followed with a music video directed by Logan Rice (who has also worked with Grimes and Tennis System). The band is seen driving through the country on a road trip in a teal vintage convertible. One of the recurring images throughout are the various pairs of shoes with lyrics written on them. The stomping white Nike and red swoosh was turned into a gif that can be used as a sticker on Instagram and Snapchat. The most accurate summary of the song comes from a direct quote from the writer himself. Yarger said, “it’s about when you’re infatuated with someone, so you just let them do whatever they want to you.”
Hunny’s percussionist, Joe, takes the lead with the steady drum beat in “Change Ur Mind.” The miscellaneous foreign voices were a pleasant surprise off this album. Hunny’s in-studio recordings typically only feature lead singer, Jason Yarger. More and more songs off this album feature bassist and keyboardist of the band, Kevin Grimmett. It’s a back and forth that sounds like an echo between Yarger and Grimmett. Their voices blend together harmoniously for the chorus.
Suddenly, you are plummeted into an environment of turmoil beginning with the fast paced guitar intro. “A Slow Death In Pacific Standard Time” brutally tells someone off with no holding back. You throw every insult and negative emotion that has been bottled up at this person. There is a guitar solo between the bridge and the last chorus that seems like a nice resolve in the conflict. It’s as though a bystander walked past the fight and it was momentarily put on hold. The moment the coast is clear the key changes and the fighting resumes right where it left off.
HUNNY’s highly anticipated album has been teased throughout their touring this year. They played “Saturday Night” during their show at Barracuda supporting Hockey Dad this past January. They hit us again with their devotion to Nike and ‘80s new wave when mentioning Echo & the Bunnymen in the chorus. This song features another outside artist’s vocals from Jennifer Calvin, lead singer of Bleached. It’s a back and forth conversation between a couple where the feelings are definitely not reciprocated.
The brief interlude, “Smarter Ways Of Saying It” is another gloomy tune about falling out of love. It’s a minute and five seconds that is almost a continuation of “Saturday Night.” Grimmett said, “It’s mostly about being emo in your bedroom on a weekend night, but being able to share that with somebody else” about “Saturday Night” and it could also be said for the rest of the songs off the album.
“Everything Means Everything Meant Everything” is a song I would recommend listening to with headphones. The beginning of the song sounds like a guitar battle with the left and right side of the headphones. Toward the closing end of we were blessed with one of Jason Yarger’s signature yells. It sounds far away to the point where it isn’t in your face as much as “Rebel Red” off Windows II, but it is a powerful battle cry nonetheless. So make sure those headphones are noise canceling ones that don’t let out too much sound. That way you don’t have to worry about people around you asking if your hearing is still okay.
The happiest song off the album is probably “Ritalin”, though still dark. At least here the chorus mentions being with friends. It also has the fastest tempo which helps imitate the feeling of optimism. Then again, it is talking about abusing prescription drugs, so how happy is it actually?
Finally, the album closes with the last of the three singles released, “Halloween.” Yarger posted on his instagram that one of his favorite moments off the album was from this song. He never revealed which moment it was, but there are several that stand out. A personal favorite of mine is the fact that he is “paying parking tickets on his laptop on the living room floor in the same clothes he wore yesterday” which has been the epitome of my sophomore year. BIG shout out to Texas State parking services.
After fully listening to the album several times, it seems that a more appropriate title based off the themes of the songs would be Yes? no. NO! No. maybe… Yes. It’s a complex relationship that has broken pieces here and there, but is impossible to sever completely. There has definitely been a change in this album from previously recorded songs. You can distinctly identify the heavy new wave inspiration. The lyrics are raw and their sound is experimenting more with synth and surf rock while still giving their punk fans what they love.