European punk on the rise
Norwegian garage rock band Death By Unga Bunga is back with their sixth full-length album, Heavy Male Insecurity. The band members, Sebastian Ulstad Olsen (vocals, guitar), Preben S. Andersen (guitar/keyboard), Stian S. Gulbrandsen (guitar), Even Rolland Pettersen (bass) and Ole S. Nesset (drums) are all founding members. They have been rocking out together ever since the band started in 2007. Three years after their last album, So Far So Good So Cool, the band has blessed fans worldwide with new material with Heavy Male Insecurity.
The style almost reminds of early Zebrahead and good old pop-punk days. The band channels the typical not-so-serious-growing-up-style lyrics that are so well known in the punk genre. The band got their distinct name after the album of punk band The Mummies in 2003—the band names The Mummies as one of their influences in their Facebook bio.
The album kicks off with the analysis of the “Modern Man.” But the analytical aspect of the album doesn’t stop there, “Egocentric” follows up with some self-analysis. Most people can agree that egocentric phases are normal and human. The song just wraps it up into a catchy punk tune. “My Buddy and Me” is an ode to the ultimate friendship while continuing with fun and cleverly written lyrics that just complement the song’s vibes.
With “All Pain No Gain,” the band takes a hard look at fitness-culture. Most people see the pictures of fitness gurus all over social media, and sometimes you just can’t help but feel like a lazy bum when looking at those steel bodies. Sore muscles under belly fat often feel like “All Pain No Gain.” Maybe this song could be an ironic gym song that motivates people to workout, or maybe it is better to sing along to it while eating pizza and drinking a couple of cold ones. The possibilities are endless.
“Like Your Style” almost feels like the love letter of a self-proclaimed “nice guy.” If that is on purpose or not is unknown (for now), but the sound is definitely good, and who doesn’t love lyrics you can interpret either way? “Live Until I Die” offers some nice beats to jump along to in the living room. The “Live fast, die young” vibes are obviously there. Hence, it’s a perfect little punk track, especially with the guitar solo and the shouting along. With “Trouble,” the band channels some major classic punk rock vibes that reminds a lot of The Ramones and other legendary punk bands.
Heavy Male Insecurity shows some of the European humor some American bands are missing. The album is fun through and through. Yes, it has some more serious notes, but they are wonderfully wrapped up in clever lyrics, making this album a highlight in 2021 for the punk scene. The European punk-rock scene is definitely one to keep a lookout for, especially since American punk has been a little repetitive the last couple of years (thank the political and social climate). So, for everyone who wants to take a deep breath of fresh sounds and brag to their friends about listening to other punk bands other than Green Day, Death By Unga Bunga is just what you needed.