Malaysian pop-punk rebels Bunkface

Malaysian pop-punk rebels Bunkface

Sam, Youk and Paan are the three young men that make up Bunkface, one of the most successful groups ever to come out of Malaysia. Since 2005 they have been lashing out high energy pop punk riffs to dizzy teenage fans across the continent.

After initially finding success with their English language Lesson of the Season EP in 2007, Bunkface's big break came with the release of their first Malay single Situasi in 2008. Though they had initially intended to record the track in English, in order to ape their American heroes such as Sum 41, The Offspring and Green Day, bassist Youk suggested a Malay recording at the last minute. It was an inspired decision, and the song went on to hit the number one spot on FLY FM.

After blitzing the first ever Shout! Awards and taking home three gongs, Bunkface released their debut album, Phobia Phoney, in 2010. A mixture of six English songs and 4 Malay songs it produced several more hits of the band, including Revolusi, Prom Queen, Soldier and Dunia.

Their second LP Bunk Not Dead followed in 2012, produced on their own Bunkface Productions label. This time they decided to add 9 English songs and 4 Malay songs. The long wait between their debut album and this follow-up is attributed to an incredibly hectic touring schedule that saw Bunkface play across Asia, Europe and North America to wide acclaim.

It's a heavier piece than Phobia Phoney, with lyrics that enter stranger, more troubled areas and a less obviously poppy sound in the music. Part of the reason for this increased heaviness had to do with an increasingly hostile attitude towards Malaysian punk from the country's established music scene.

For example, the previous year, the albums lead single Panik had been banned by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM, the government's official station).The initially cited reason for the ban was to do with the repeated usage of the word ‘Reformasi' in the lyrics, which is a term often used by opposition political leaders. Bunkface themselves reacted angrily to the ban, saying they had the right to use whatever words they wish and that they had no political message that they were trying to put across.

Despite the controversy, Bunkface remain one of Malaysia's most popular acts, with a huge following of loyal punk fans.