DEATH BY UNGA BUNGA
Heavy Male Insecurity
LP | CD | DL
Out 12th February 2021
Norway’s power-punk-pop rockers Death By Unga Bunga return with their new album and pack a mean punch.
Straight out of the block, Death By Unga Bunga, take off with their driving power-punk pop chugging guitars on the tongue-in-cheek sardonic Modern Man. Full of sarcastic observations that surmise the title of their new album, Heavy Male Insecurity. Like Fight Club dumbed down, chewed up, and spat out for a modern generation, they reel off what it means, perhaps, to be a so-called modern man. We’re caring, affectionate, not scared of our feelings, and, of course, enjoy baking. It may be done with a wink of the eye, but the message remains the same. It’s a theme that they continue, through their Cheap Trick via The Strokes Egocentric, a takedown of the selfish and insecure. It’s clear that the band are revelling in the jarring crash of bravado and tenderness.
There are definite radio-friendly vibes on songs like Not Like The Others, which recalls bands like White Reaper, but their tour de force comes out on songs like Live Until I Die, its Nick Valensi-like riffs and hooks wailing out and adding the necessary jab to the blows that rain down. Trouble finds them putting the distorted wall of sound guitars to one side to bring out a grooving filtered bassline over which the song rides, closer to Soundtrack Of Our Lives. It’s a respite from the aural power-punk assault, albeit brief. By the time they sign off with White Lies, pounding drums and rallying vocals, you realise that the album has flown by in a flash.
On their new album, Death By Unga Bunga continue to find that sweet spot that lies between punk and pop, with a dose of 80s new wave added to the mix. Not one for the punk purists, not one for the powerpop purists, but for those in need of the pure escapism of great rock ‘n’ roll.
Words by Nathan Whittle. Find his Louder Than War archive here.