BUGHUNT switched on at Old Bar tape launch
Entertainment / By , 14 October 2023 at 3:42pm
If you think BUGHUNT's recorded material is anxiety-laiden, wait until you've experienced the group live.

Review and gallery of BUGHUNT’s gig on 26 May 2023.

The band’s launch of MALINGERING at Fitzroy’s Old Bar was sweaty, suffocating, and packed both on and off stage. The crowd was effectively impenetrable at the front, locking the outfit’s up-to-seven performers in the venue’s tiny performance space.

With nowhere for band – or fans – to run, the two fed off each other for an intense set. Lead singer Conor’s live delivery is simultaneously breath-laden and completely breathless, bringing earnest distress which fed the tension in the room.

But the Bugs don’t leave you hanging. While whipping up the anxiety, the group brings you on a journey – dredging up self-doubt, swilling it, then spitting it back with pride.

BUGHUNT makes you feel shit about yourself, then lets you revel in it. Those on stage certainly do – for all the tortured lyrics and palpable angst, the band actually has looks to have a pretty good time.

While the tape’s sarcasm-laden opener, You Can’t Make Everybody Happy And You Won’t Get Points For Trying, achieves this in its title, the therapeutic value of closer Switch is more subtle. The song bursts a dizzying spiral of self-hate and social regret into the world, which it then lays out with remarkable clarity. The relatability normalises the emotions, making it okay.

You can find Malingering on Bandcamp and Spotify. This review is a little late, so you also get to enjoy the Bugs’ newest release – a split tape with Bayonet – while you’re there.

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Photos: Emily Kulich for MELMAG, feat. 70s/80s film lenses. Email us with image reuse, licensing, and sales requests.

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