[BONGOS ≠ WORLD MUSIC] Why did the Vonneguts switch their name to Resin Hits earlier this year? Out of respect to the passing of their namesake, perhaps? In reference to current economic circumstances, asking us to make the best of our limited resources?
Or maybe the switch was simply intended to reflect the band's shifting style and personnel: Two of the three original Vonneguts—28-year-old vocalist/pianist/guitarist Daniel Hukill and 30-year-old guitarist Matt Buonaiuto—were joined by five additional members this fall. Most dramatically, this restructuring added that timeless hippie drum, the bongo, into the mix.
Supplementing a rock band with that long-abused instrument doesn't necessarily make for world music, Hukill says. "Let's not forget that rock 'n' roll started with the bongo. How could people forget that T-Rex or the Yardbirds—even Slade—used bongos?"
Fortunately, the transition from Vonneguts to Resin Hits didn't actually portend an abrupt U-turn from the group's artful, Buzzcocks-esque pop-punk. It was more a linear transition than a total rebirth, and though Hukill says the new instrumental embellishments (the lineup now boasts three guitarists, two drummers, bass and keys) changed the way the music is "organized," a catchy punk pulse still drives the band's sound.
An introductory full-length is due from Washington, D.C.'s, Exotic Fever Records in March. It'll feature what Hukill describes as the more "refined, piano-driven songs" from the group's current live set. Yet, as anyone who caught Resin Hits' ramshackle Nov. 15 show at Backspace would agree, the new material isn't any softer.
The name change, it turns out, was merely the product of "several other bands using Vonnegut's name in one way or another," though Hukill admits it was a "hard name to have sometimes." Naming your band after one of the greatest artists of a generation can bring on some lofty expectations. With a name like Resin Hits, they may get even higher.
Resin Hits plays Slabtown with Best Supporting Actress and Jizz Wizard on Wednesday, Dec. 10. 9 pm. $5. 21+.