Reviewed by Meghan Player
“Psychedelicpartyreggaeskadoommetalpunkrock from hell!” screams the written introduction to Melbourne four-piece, the Bennies; a band that is impossible to pigeon-hole or be defined by one genre, with their sound falling into a variety of spaces, like a kid with his fingers in all the respective pies. And it’s by no means a bad thing, as latest album ‘Rainbows In Space’ demonstrates.
The space oddity begins with the whirring, electronic glory of ‘Party Smashers‘ – a track that is as bold as it is brilliant. The striking comparison of synths and ska-infused rhythms are catchy as hell, and already have you jumping out of your seat from the get-go.
‘Anywhere You Want To Go’ draws on a feast of ska, punk and reggae vibes – pushing the boundaries of sound production and “the norm” to infinite new levels. ‘It Goes Without Saying‘ nominates itself early as an infectious party-starter, with each sing-a-long chorus of ‘gang vocals’ leaving you with dreams of hitting Oxford Street at 3am, belting out this tune in drunken comradery.
‘Lets Get Stoned’ and ‘Knights Forever’ sing out tales of youth – those nights when you’d stay out til the sun came up – whilst ‘License To Chill’ brings the electronic party to an abrupt halt, with some psychedelic riffs that settle the mood briefly. That is, of course, all before the high-octane ‘High Rider’ kicks in, and leaves no sound or style untouched. Once again, it’s that punch-your-fist-in-the-air chorus that grabs your attention and holds it – warranting second, third, forth track rotations on your stereo.
‘Frankston Girls‘ is perhaps the heaviest the album gets – with the chaotic clashes of ska, colliding with some incredibly catatonic screaming – before ‘Westgate Wednesday‘ becomes a polar opposite, providing a feel good, reggae bounce with its step towards the finale.
‘Sky High‘ has the honor of closing out the dramatic spectrum of noise, combining the core elements of the bands sound to lull us into a warm, satisfying state of bliss.
Overall, Rainbows In Space is an astounding release. The Bennies controlled chaos of sound and synths is ridiculously well-executed, with the pomp-prowess of 80s electronica daring to dance with the unabashed ferocity of punk. Their sound is unique, undefined by one specific sound or style; a rebellion against conventional sound production. And that, my friends, is worth celebrating.