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First, an apology to The Belligerents as I wanted to review their new EP, Outside:Inside, some time ago. When they released “Voices“ back in May and followed that up with an awesome cover of Fat Boy Slim’s “Praise You”, it became immediately apparent that the Brisbane band has something great going. Speaking of great, Outside:Inside, The Belligerents’ third EP, fits the bill.
Like many of the Aussie bands reviving psychedelic rock and pop, The Belligerents take the listener on a soaring, amusing ride. Right from the beginning, “In My Way” bellows with shimmering and whirling guitars and frontman Lewis Stephenson’s high-pitched falsetto (that nearly reaches Geddy Lee levels) to create an infectious brand of psychedelia. Think T. Rex mixed with Wolfmother. The trippy “Voices” follows, echoing of the zany and kaleidoscope psychedelia of their more popular, Australian brethren. This track, however, fits right alongside anything that Tame Impala and Pond have created.
“Shake It” comes closest to capturing the breezy and spooky psychedelia of T. Rex and Can. “Outside:Inside” is a cathartic, pulverizing track, which is matched by the EP’s closer, “Looking At You”. The latter, though, is like two songs – an uptempo, intense beginning followed by hypnotic lull that slowly revs up again. “Looking At You” is brilliantly paced and the perfect closer to a delirious album.
It only takes one listen of the EP to realize that The Belligerents’ potential is limitless. However, as bassist and engineer Konstantin Kersting explained, this EP almost didn’t come to fruition after the five-piece split from their long-time manager and questioned whether they had the energy to continue recording as The Belligerents. Fortunately for us, they’ve released one heck of an album. All that is left is for them to release a full-length, and people outside of Australia will be mentioning their names with Tame Impala, Pond, and Wolfmother.
The Belligerents are Lewis Stephenson, James Griffin, Konstantin Kersting, Andy Balzat, and Samuel Sargent.
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