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Death By Unga Bunga's stellar songcraft shines on Heavy Male Insecurity

Heavy Male Insecurity is the fifth album from muscular Norwegian power-poppers Death By Unga Bunga

Death By Unga Bunga:Heavy Male Insecurity
(Image: © Janssen Records)

Given their name, place of origin (Norway) and penchant for shirtless beer-belly promo shots, one might assume Death By Unga Bunga are Turbonegro-esque phoney-but-real arena rockers. 

And they are, really, although unlike their denim-demon cohorts they rely less on heaving macho goonshow bullshit and more on frankly stellar songcraft. 

Heavy Male Insecurity is the band’s fifth full album in 10 years. And while you can safely file it away in the hard rock section of your media library, it flirts openly and suggestively with gooey late-70s power-pop and, less sexily, 90s pop-punk.

The good stuff borders on the truly excellent: fully charged opener Modern Man, the Rick Springfield-y perfect FM radio pop of Egocentric, the Archies-meets-Hellacopters bubblegum rawk of All Pain No Gain, complete with a delightfully outta-nowhere NWOBHM guitar break. 

The really sugary tracks (Like Your Style, Not Like The Others, My Buddy) feel like the kinda all-day suckers latter-day Backyard Babies often spew up when they run out of ideas. Even those tracks make sense in the context of the whole album, though. 

Lightweight but fun.