The bizarrely named Death By Unga Bunga and their fifth studio album ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is about as perfect a place as any to start though as having just wowed audiences across the UK in support of Irish rockers Ash we thought it was about time you also discovered why this 5 piece from Norway were handpicked by Tim Wheeler and Co out of relative obscurity to secure such a prestigious slot.
Originally released back in April of this year I first got to hear about the band when a Facebook mate of mine sent me a link to the total nerdgasm that is the video to their track ‘Into The Night ‘with a note that simply said “this is your new favourite band.”
Well that infectious slab of powerpop was certainly enough to grab my attention and the fact that the band also just happened to look like the bastard sons of Biff Malibu only helped to increase my interest. The real game changer happened just before ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ was finally due to hit the streets though when the guys dropped the second video from the record, the superb ‘Soldier’, a song so catchy I just had to get my shots at my local rock ‘n’ roll doctor and experience the full majesty of Death By Unga Bunga.
Having lived with this record (it’s also out on CD and download) for nearly six months there is rarely a day that goes by when ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ isn’t actually on my stereo, as the 11 tracker (note 2 tracks are quirky incidental interludes) is simply one of the best powerpop records you will hear anywhere this year.
With a particular penchant for writing instantly memorable 3:30 minute pop/rock tunes just like say Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, The Knack and yes, their UK touring buddies Ash what Death By Unga Bunga do ever so well is make their own particular brand of powerpop sound totally unique to them, something I haven’t really felt since the heady days of when Scandinavia was seducing my eardrums at an alarming rate with genre defining bands such as Gluecifer, Division of Laura Lee and Randy.
It’s simply impossible to pick a stand out track amongst the 9 equally brilliant tracks captured within the all killer no filler grooves of ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ but ‘Boys’ really is up there with the very best hard rock tracks released this year and in ‘So Cool’ the Bunga boys give Turbonegro a lesson in how to use synths without having to sound like Van Halen circa ‘1984’.
‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is quite simply essential listening for anyone who has albums by the likes of Fuzzbubble, Sugarbomb and The Semantics within their collection. I’m just gutted I didn’t get a chance hear this record played live.