Best Local Single of the Past 12 Months

Bunnygrunt/Trauma Harness Split 7"

So, we're in River City, and our best single should certainly be some blues rehash or singer-songwriter, right? But howzabout something with some claws instead? Both songs on this single come from opposite sides of the Mississippi. First, there's Bunnygrunt, which, for the last two decades, has stood as a St. Louis beacon for twee-pop indie rock. The band's cover of Red Pony Clock's "Don't Forget Who Your Friends Are" tells it plain and simple, with musings of the life and love of being in a band. Matt Harnish starts with clean, subtle singing before drummer Eric Von Damage pulverizes that drum kit of his. Clever mixing keeps the instruments distinct, so nothing gets buried. There's a nice spit in the face to pop addicts here, where the song tumbles apart before coming back together in classy, foot-tapping fashion. The flip side starts with a meandering guitar that forms down some long corridor before vocalist Josh Jenkins chimes in to guide you through the dark. Trauma Harness keeps the lights off with gloomy post-punk; the Belleville, Illinois, trio tears through "Last Action Hero" with a subtle delay and cymbal-drenched beats. The result is a clean cut from a band that revels in noisy live settings. Here, there's no B-side to speak of: Both songs are worthy of Best Local Single.

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