Bennies The / Rainbows In Space 12 inch
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Melbourne band The Bennies have been riding a wave of good vibes ever since their 2009 inception. In that time, the four-piece have steadily drummed up a reputation for crafting carefree, exuberant tunes, playing gleefully energetic live shows and having a penchant for partying that finds itself naturally embodied within everything the band do.
On ‘Rainbows in Space’, their second album, these are themes that are all right at the forefront. The band - perhaps only slightly in jest - describe themselves as “psychedelic party reggae ska doom metal punk rock from hell”, and although they’re ostensibly a ska-punk outfit, there’s a lot more going on here below the surface. Over the 14 tracks that make up ‘Rainbows in Space’, The Bennies throw off the shackles of genre limitations and dive headfirst into the abyss, delivering the blissfully chilled reggae of “Hold On” before launching into the ferocious 'Frankston Girls'. Catchy choruses appear in spades, (see: “Knights Forever”) frontman Anty Horgan’s unmistakably Australian pipes are bursting with charisma without dominating while guitars range from skank-inciting ska rhythms to blistering glam metal solos. Understated synths and brass complement rather than detract, and everything is impeccably held together by a limber rhythm section.
With track titles like 'Ice Cold Beers and Juicy Juicy Buds', 'Let’s Get Stoned' and 'Sky High', the band is anything but subtle as far as lyrical themes. For some bands, this kind of thing would feel trite at best, insufferably desperate at worst. Not so with The Bennies - being this upfront merely allows them to be as free and refreshingly authentic as they want, brimming with their own identity rather than seeking to be anything they’re not. As Horganreminisces about “dancing as the sun set somewhere in Collingwood”, The Bennies capture hazy, sun-drenched Melbourne summers in a way that feels simultaneously personal and universal. Lyrical anecdotes feel like an old friend spinning a yarn, and by not indulging in faux-profound philosophising or boring exaggeration, find a happily down-to-earth middle ground. Ultimately, it’s hard to find much to dislike about a band that feels this earnest in everything they do.