The Brungas

“The Brungas has its own genre. If you want to hear a new type of music and a new type of wave, listen to The Brungas, and there’s plenty more coming.”

The Brungas are determined to change the face of Melbourne music. Mingling coarse-grained garage rock with shimmery new wave, their five-track, ten-genre EP defies listeners to slap a label on it. But becoming musical innovators sounds so serious – the Brungas prefer to be thought of just as good mates kicking back with their instruments.
“The band’s not just about trying to break into the music industry,” keyboardist Zac Bunston explains. “It’s more about having a bit of fun. It’s about us, as a group of mates, enjoying ourselves.”
After playing live around Melbourne for a year, The Brungas took to Box Hill to give some of their songs the studio treatment. The resulting tracks were released for free listening online.
“We’re not going to charge for our music at this stage,” bassist Alec Brunga says. “We’re just getting our music out there. We’re hoping to play as cheap gigs as possible and as cheap music as possible, to get as many people around it as we can, and to share that community vibe.”
In the weeks following its release, the band’s single ‘Galves’ climbed to a respectable 19,000 plays on Spotify. On triple j, the band became a sonic Rorschach test. Some listeners praised their raw intensity, others their dreaminess. Some compared their sound to The Strokes, others to The Cure.
“The Brungas has its own genre,” Brunga says. “If you want to hear a new type of music and a new type of wave, listen to The Brungas, and there’s plenty more coming.”
Despite featuring on the triple j Unearthed Best New Music playlist, Brunga isn’t taking himself too seriously just yet.
“One thing about this band is that none of us are really that good individually,” he explains. “We’re all airheads. We just fuck around a little bit. But, when we get together, the sum is definitely greater than the parts.”
The Brungas will bring songs from their self-titled debut EP to Revolver Upstairs, supported by Jungle Breed, Smash Bros and the Belair Lip Bombs, where you can expect a lot of beers, a lot of decibels and all round good times.
And, despite steadily growing exposure, the band is already thinking of ways to mix things up with their next project. Studio time was limited during the production of their first EP, with some tracks recorded in a single take. Bunston says the group is looking forward to having more time to critique, fine-tune and experiment with new styles, meanwhile lead guitarist Ed Carlisle adds they’re keen to continue to experiment with their diverse sound.
“We’re not just sticking to one genre or one sound,” he says. “We’re going to have a single that’s high-volume, fast-paced. Get up, have a dance to it. Then we’re going to balance it out with some really slow, groovy tunes you can kick back to. We’ve been doing some really hard stuff, but, at the same time, we’re stripping back. We’re really expanding from the clean, electric guitar rock we did in the last EP.”
Vocalist Ned Hawkins adds that the philosophy of the band is very much DIY. “We all have our own ideas and opinions. We’re a seven-piece, so you’ve got to collaborate with everyone’s ideas. That can be difficult, but, at the same time, great minds think alike,” he explains.
Guitarist Charlie Howcroft reveals that the group have two new singles and an EP in the works, the first single set to be released in the next few months.
As they continue to stake their claim in Melbourne, The Brungas say that they don’t see other local bands as competitors, but rather as potential partners in crime. Brunga enjoys inviting new bands to play at gigs, and says that this supportive approach has helped build a booming scene in the Brunswick/Collingwood area.
“I reckon the Melbourne music scene is a great little community,” he says. “Live music’s definitely back in a big way in Melbourne. There’s lots of little gigs being run all the time. Some might criticise it and say that the sound’s getting a bit bland, and that’s why we try to cover as many styles and influences as we can in our songs, so we’re not just doing the same things as someone else out there.”

The Brungas will play Revolver Upstairs on Thursday March 8, supported by Jungle Breed, Smash Bros and the Belair Lip Bombs. Their self-titled EP is out now.