Hey! We’re Spirit Bunny. A Brisbane three-piece playing your old computer (Commodore 64, remember them?), a cheap keyboard (Casio SK5) that we’ve modified, a minimal drum kit and some crunchy drum loops. We’ve just released our debut LP on Detonic Recordings. It’s full of noisy pop songs and gritty beats.
You may notice the lack of guitars. It’s not ’cause we don’t like them. It’s just that, as Chicks Of Speed so eloquently put it, “we don’t play guitars”. So here are some of our favourite Australian guitar bands, and some of our favourite approaches to guitar.
Song 1: Rubix – Deafcult
Like guitars? Then why have one when you can have four? Thick slabs of lush, fuzzy guitars and sweet melodies.
Song 2: Shut My Mouth – No Anchor
Ok, so better than four guitars is probably two basses. No Anchor play dumb music, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. Everything is seemingly simple, and sometimes that’s just how I like my rock.
Song 3: Yellow Pony – The Rational Academy
Whilst The Rational Academy have since disbanded, they are one of our favourite Brisbane bands, and a significant part of us growing up in the Brisbane music scene in the noughties. I think the first incarnation I saw of The Rational Academy was at the now long gone DIY venue, 610.
Song 4: Brisbane, Transit Centre – Andrew Tuttle
You can’t get any more guitary than fingerpicking on a six string acoustic, can you? Fahey-esque guitar with washes of digital manipulations underneath. I’m not sure what sort of utopian Brisbane Tuttle is hanging out in, but I like it.
Song 5: To Dream – Heir Fuller
While the last four artists have been making music in one form or another around Brisbane for a good part of a decade, Heir Fuller is part of a younger scene. This track might seem a bit out of place with the noisy tracks that have preceded it, but we are just as influenced by slow, sad songs. Outside of Spirit Bunny, Cam (drums) plays solo as St Augustus and Joel is in A Country Practice, both exploring more sombre tones.
Song 6: I’m Swimming – Cured Pink
The munted dub of Cured Pink is infectious. Normally wah-wah is a no-go, but across this record the incessant delay and the guitar that recalls the sonic characteristics of an electric fence is hypnotic.
Song 7: Overpass – No Sister
The first time we went down to Melbourne we played with No Sister. Their commitment to deconstructed guitar playing – beating their instruments with drum mallets, screwdrivers and drumsticks – sees them extend on ’80s NYC bands and take it into new realms.
Song 8: Honey Hunter – Bitumen
I saw Bitumen play underneath the Time Machine in Nambour, a vintage and collectables store on the Sunshine Coast. They were touring with No Sister who they did this split tape with. Three boys playing guitars crowded around a drum machine while their singer moans in the most captivating, haunting way.
Song 9: Low In Health Bird – BARGE With An Antenna On It
There is something special about two-piece bands. Guitar + drums. Cam played in a few before Spirit Bunny started (Tiny Spiders & Fickle Beasts). BARGE are lean and precise. Riffing on one chord and keeping it tight before exploding.
Song 10: Storm Weather Part 2 – Oren Ambarchi
Oren Ambarchi has a singular approach to guitar playing. I saw him play in Japan in a quartet with Jim O’Rourke where he processed his guitar through a bank of pedals and a rotating Leslie speaker. His sound beautifully enveloped the room. This track is from a record released on Room40, a label we are lucky to have in Brisbane as it constantly brings fascinating artists to our city.