Ah, The Bungalows. Long time no hear. Actually, just no hear! A quick shuffle of paperwork and tap of the keyboard just to get me up to speed…. Oookay! So rewind to 2011 and The Bunga’s single Got to Go gets released. Starting with a tinge of The Shadows-like guitar instrumental, the song quickly falls into a cute “ca-chink” ska riff, complete with echoey vocals in the veins of bands like The Dead 60’s, Bedouin Soundclash and Hard-Fi (God bless their souls), revived half a dozen years or so ago.
Does the latest track from the surf rock band, The Bungalows, have what it takes to be a ‘classic surf song’?
Fast forward three years, a bit of ubiquitous Aussie pub touring and larrikin about in between and new single Roll pops up. Gone is the ska-ness and it’s replaced with… um, nothing in particular really! Kind of song that really doesn’t do anything for me – sort of song that was thrown together, like a band attempting to write their first tune and not really knowing what direction they’re heading in. Funny, but I had glimpses of Kings of Leon drifting through it, which may be a good…no, no, what am I saying?!!
So to new single, So Easy – back to the band’s bio and we find that band members hail from Gerringong; a quick check with Google Maps reveals, yep, smack bang on the NSW coastline, which is a pretty much a dead giveaway from opening bars. For a moment I thought Harry Belafonte was about to open with Day O, such is the calypso feel, before thankfully being replaced with traditional alternative music. ‘Surf rock’ to be precise and the sun, sand and sea definitely oozes out of the track, complete with the DIY ‘don’t-disturb-me-Mum-I’m-in-the-closet-recording’ vibe that Surfer Blood and The Drums put to good use way back when.
Unfortunately that’s about where the comparisons ends, as So Easy doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the pack – certainly nowhere near to being a ‘classic surf song’ like Swim or Let’s Go Surfing – maybe a ‘b’ side or even seaside??? (oh, the humour! – Ed). So Easy is a cruisy background track for lying on the beach in summer, but autumn’s not too far away….it might have worked well, back when the ‘surf-rock’ scene was happening. So it’s strange then that they didn’t push their paddleboards out back in 2011, than be set adrift in 2015.
So Easy doesn’t float my (banana) boat, but give me some more of that ska loving and I might just take another peek.
FIND OUT MORE ON
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=345601294 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]