The Bennies – Natural Born Chillers
Released: February 2nd, 2018
The Bennies lineup
Anty – Vox, Korg
Jules – Guitar
Craig – Bass
Bowie – Drums
The Bennies online
Wall of Sound learned two new truths the other week when off to interview Anty and Craig from The Bennies in St. Kilda about this fine new album Natural Born Chillers they’ve released:
- It’s surprisingly cheap to get pissed on Chapel Street between 4 and 7pm.
- The Bennies are genuinely positive, charming intelligent, and lovely dudes.
This has already been established to their ever-growing global legion of fun-loving supporters, so getting it clarified in person was little more than a pleasant formality. Having reviewed, photographed, and/or hot boxed The Evelyn Hotel with Anty, Craig, Jules, and Bowie about half a dozen times last year alone, it’s no surprise to this journo that these hard working Melbournian Psychedelic Reggae Ska Doom Metal Punk Rocking locals have released a short, sharp blast of rollicking musical good fun that’s guaranteed to get a pasting at dozens of raucous house parties throughout this last month of summer down under, and another three mid-year ones across Europe and The U.S. too. Here’s a slick, pocket-sized track-by-track run down to give you kids the gist.
Opener and lead single ‘Get High Like an Angel‘ sets an ideal precedent for the album ahead; it’s exciting, dancey, anthemic, positive fun not a little infused with a healthy dose sentiment for sticky, sticky bud. Being that there’s a fat, beautiful wad of the stuff on the NBC’s cover (painstakingly collaged by frontman Anty), Get High… is apt and glorious in equal measure. Second single and second track ‘Dreamkillers‘ is already a live favourite for good reason, with the dudes’ matter-of-fact positive lyrics emanating non-stop over a punchy, driving hook means it’s impossible not to dance like a mad cunt while considering how following your dreams is a perfectly great idea. Signature use of the MicroKorg’s bottomless well of satisfying arpeggios opens a slightly more emotionally driven banger in the form of ‘Destination Unknown‘; a track that will light a little spark inside listeners to do what they love forever, and embrace whatever the future holds. How exceptionally lovely it all is, especially Bowie’s driving drums.
‘Natural Born Chillers‘ is a better song than the movie it’s kind of named after, even if it’s 60 times shorter. It’s a lovely reggae ska tune from a band that is not afraid to keep successfully reviving ska the world over. Light a joint and fall in love to it. At just over halfway, an ode to the ‘Ocean‘ literally and metaphorically around our lands and inside ourselves. It’s an earnest banger worthy of listening while having a semi-decent come down, I reckon (tried and tested by your humble reviewer). Dark horse for album favourite is ‘Trip Report‘. Clocking in at a comparatively gargantuan 4:22, it’s a rambling spoken word jaunt equal parts engaging and funny. The track plays out like an understated sequel to break-out Bennies classic ‘Knights Forever‘, almost like a running commentary the day after the massive night in Knights… Anyway, the line “Fuck time. Love rules”, earnestly spoken by Anty between catchy choruses is a sentence few could match in quality of eternal truth.
Tasty, tasty basslines and MicroKorg pulsate under a sweet reggae riff to charge up penultimate closer ‘Apathetic Revolution‘, a tune that lets one oxymoronically bang their head and feel okay with feeling sad sometimes between the fun times all at once. Negative emotions are important because they make the good times that much sweeter, luckily The Bennies have a way of presenting them positively and inclusively, while not ever denting the album’s ceaseless good time vibes. That’s a fuckin’ skill right there. A brisk full stop almost entirely helmed by the beguilingly talented lead guitarist Jules finishes things up in the form of ‘Very Shit Carpet‘, a deceptively named blast of internal monologue made into a ball of catchy as punk. So well executed is this 00:57 crunch of oi-inspired goodness, that you’ll be hitting repeat and pretending it goes for longer just like most of the songs on Fat Wreck Chords’ Short Music For Short People, or Frenzal Rhomb’s cover of the Home and Away theme song… you flamin’ drongos.
And that’s the lot! Sure, Natural Born Chillers doesn’t go for ages, but what it achieves in its 20-odd minutes of life is an unmatched explosion of extremely honest good time vibes, rattled out deftly by a quartet-ish of hard-partying joy merchants who have very humbly begun to musically take over the punk charts across the planet. In times of ever-growing global uncertainty, malice, stress, and pressure, it’s vital everyone be a bit more like The Mother Fuckin’ Bennies.
Finally, please place your favourite obligatory marijuana legalization statement below if you so choose. Thank you.
The Bennies – Natural Born Chillers tracklisting
- Get High Like An Angel
- Destination Unknown
- Natural Born Chillers
- Trip Report
- Apathetic Revolution
- Very Shit Carpet