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With a name like Zenbunny Collective, you know something special is going on. And it is going on indeed. On the collective’s first single, titled ‘Funky America 9/38’, this inventive duo of experienced gentlemen are rolling in sharp wit together with some stern critique of general happenings in a truly engaging piece of funk-inspired blues that just kept on giving.

Los Angeles-based Zenbunny Collective is composed of songwriter and poet Richard Berger and guitarist Solomon Hamburg, and while their debut dropped in late 2023 and their live shows are planned to take off in 2025, the collective’s roots go back to the 1960s Paris student revolts. A collective of men who have lived and have seen a lot, and been through a lot of change, Zenbunny Collective treads on the critique they are delivering with a bold entitlement that’s truly refreshing. After all, if I was to take societal critique from people, people who have been through the agitated Parisian 60s would be on the top of my list of candidates. 

Musically and lyrically, Berger and Hamburg are an amazing duo. With the lyrics delivered with such top-notch nonchalance, and a deadpan delivery to some really passive-aggressive lines, it is clear the guys are fed up, and it is extremely engaging. Berger’s delivery feels just like that heartwarming rant from that one relative we know speaks their mind with little boundaries. Nothing offensive, just a fluidity in the delivery that makes it immersive. The song’s bluesy core is tight and enjoyable enough to be tight and enjoyable. Hamburg’s guitars are sweetly overdriven and are delivered with just enough restraint to show his relaxed veterancy as a musician.

‘Funky America 9/38’ is a wonderful little trip into modern-day American politics through the minds of a pair of thoroughly American gentlemen who are a little uneasy about how things are going.. to put it mildly. A refreshing listen.