Garage Rock. Proto-Punk. Power-pop. Pop-Punk. Underground. Alternative. Whatever! It’s been called so many things but then that just shows you the limitations of music genres. But if you like music which combines the snap and groove or pop, the muscle and drive of rock, which swerves the cliches in favour of infectiousness and fun, which is happy to keep things simple rather than pander to the fickle finger of fashion, which oozes with melody, riff and sing-along choruses, then Death By Unga Bunga is the band for you.
They encapsulate all the energy of The Sonics, the simple musical joy and gang swagger of The Ramones and that wonderful blend of humour and deft penmanship that kept Cheap Trick at the top of their game for all that time. Lead single Cynical comes at you with a guitar flourish that Thin Lizzy would have been proud of before settling down into a snotty New Wave singalong, Haunt Me out-poses and out-preens hair metal and So Cool has a low-slung, street strutting riff to die for.
Ten years in the game and five albums to date, US tours with punk icons Stiff Little Fingers and gigging the length and breadth of their native Norway and they show no sign of slowing down, in fact the last couple of years have been their busiest yet. They are pretty much the band that The Darkness could have been if only they had stopped being so silly and given up on those silly vocals. Okay, that last reference isn’t much of a recommendation but believe me they are well worth spending the time getting to know.