This commanding, arty Philadelphia quartet — singer/guitarist/saxophone player David Goerk, guitarist/bassist/trombone player Frank Marr, bassist/guitarist Greg Davis and drummer Joe Ankenbrand, produced throughout their career by local legend Phil Nicolo, one half of the Butcher Brothers — played a sinewy, challenging brand of rhythmic snake-rock (think Shriekback) with vocals that branch into urgent hectoring or the dispassionate temerity of Ian Curtis. On Feathers Web (a four-song 12-inch dedicated to the memory of science fiction author Philip K. Dick), Bunnydrums burns through an affecting slithery instrumental (“Crawl”) and a trio of less-compelling dirges enlivened by guitar phasing and other sonic effects. PKD adds five new — and mostly better — tracks to the EP’s contents, crackling with electricity and evincing a growing control of their intense sound. The best new item is “Ugh,” a funky dance groove with a couple of incidental lyrics and Goerk’s squalling sax.
Holy Moly, the band’s second and final full-length release, is more experimental and confident, integrating a variety of new approaches: noisy aggression, new wavey dance-rock, a cover of the Stooges’ “T.V. Eye,” dense drones in which instruments flow in and out of the mix. Overall, Holy Moly uncovers more dynamics and audio coloration, making it an intriguing record by a skilled, occasionally visionary band.
The 2003 reissue of PKD, subtitled Simulacra, is a nearly complete (non-chronological) career compilation: 19 songs, from the band’s first 7-inch (“Win” b/w “Little Room”) through a 1984 live track (“Frozen Hands”) and a 1986 remix of “Holy Moly.”