Time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s certainly the case with Nordic five piece. They’re celebrating their tenth anniversary with their fifth album, So Far So Good So Cool, out on April 6th via Jansen. Its the follow up to 2016’s blistering Pineapple Pizza, and sees the band tread familiar paths, with their own take on Power Pop/hair metal. The title is their description of the ten years they’ve been together, but is also an indication of the lyrical dexterity employed with the record. Morrissey and Bob Dylan it isn’t, but the band just about get away with the high school growing up/loves and parties, bar the rather silly laddishness of ‘Boys’.
What Death By Unga Bunga do do well though, is make a record you almost want to party along to. Sitting somewhere between Little Feat and Kiss, it ends up often sounding like The Darkness (minus Justin Hawkins squark) full of multitracked sung choruses (or at least everyone joining in) and double guitar lines, but they’re able to lift it beyond plodding hair metal with the odd slap of punk here, and a few (I’m no provider being the best example) angular chords there.
At their best, the rock/power pop they trade so well in is thrilling – opener Haunt Me is such an immediate track that if you don’t either air guitar through the blistering solos, or reach for the rewind button (do they actually have rewind buttons these days) then you clearly have no rock in your socks, and follow on Solider similarly goes big on the riff, posturing and sizzling guitar solos.
There’s not much respite in So Far So Good So Cool, with the exception of Space Face, which gives us a a little rest with some acoustic strumming, but around every corner there’s a big tune, solo or chorus that slaps you around the face and reminds us what we’re here for. It doesn’t tread new ground musically, but generally its a hell of a good time journey anyway.