Guest Writer EP Review: The Bonnie Doons: The Betweeners

‘Bringing a concord of new sounds to the industry, they prove they’re a band to listen out for.’ 

Intro to The Bonnie Doons
Influenced by alternative 90s music, Brisbane 5-piece The Bonnie Doons release their second EP ‘The Betweeners’. Dipping into many genre pools with elements of rap, soul, reggae and pop, their music really does have it all. Not only an anthem to the ear, but bringing layers of optimism and powerful messages, it offers so much right from the first strum to the final fade. Co-written by band members Kane Kennedy and Torian Brewer, the lyrics are seamlessly unflawed and delivered by Torian too, they are suitably hypnotic. With musical veins similar to the likes of Ocean Alley and Sticky Fingers, ‘The Betweeners’ indubitably suits the indie scene. Likewise, in bringing a concord of new sounds to the industry, The Bonnie Doons prove they are definitely one to listen out for. 

EP Review
Generating a hit of laid-back goodness, title track ‘The Betweeners’ immediately amplifies the bands signature sound. Saturated with oozing guitar riffs, empowered rhythms and smooth atmospherics, the nostalgic essence of their indie-pop is instantly captured. Drum beats build beautifully, vocal harmonies too and filling our ears with a wondrous blend of influences, it’s the kind of track that generates excitement for what else is to come. What shines most brightly though is Torian’s narration of R&B nuances. Bouncing through the song in a rhythmically faultless way, the strong message within this feel-good anthem buries itself into our head with ease. And, with it providing the perfect boost for anyone struggling in life, it gets your heart pumping in anticipation of what is to follow. 

Taking us in a different direction, the arrival of track two ‘JIEM’ sees the musical centre shift from luscious lightness to drama-tinted dominance. Driven by a combination of slow thumping bass lines and pounding toms, you really can’t miss how different the tone is. However, in projecting power and possessing a musical stubbornness that reflects the lyrical intentions, it soon becomes just as captivating as the opener. Likewise, with the vocal phrases themselves penetrating the wall of sound, you can almost hear the strain of desires that carry the inferred infatuation.

Attempting to give us as much contrast as possible, as a precursor to the final track a fusion of Australian surf-rock and American funk-rap vibes appear. Adding an exciting new twist to what we may expect from indie-pop, ‘Supatool’ makes for a truly refreshing sound. Forming a union of styles, down-tempo skank-esque guitar instantly generates a sense of beachy-reggae relaxation. Simplistic piano intertwines above with ever-developing melodic content. And at the rhythmic heart there are drums filled with delicate syncopation. It really is a genius sound. Equally, in carrying indulgent hints of aforementioned influences, screaming choruses of voices and rockstar-impassioned lyrics, it’s a tantalising one too.

Ensuring that the strengths of the EP carry right through to the end, fire-fuelled final track ‘Fred’ makes for the perfect conclusion. Combining some of those previous influences, it serves up musicality to get your head banging, and get you thinking too. Creating waves of emotion that empower you to listen on, the progression centred vocal phrases are beautifully constructed. Meanwhile, the strong voice that we are now assured Torian has ensures we experience them to the full. Supercharged rap segments bring energy. Smoother lyrical settings bring soul. And together with their surroundings, it’s a sound that powers through your speakers and raises the hairs on your arms. Blessed with such variety, four-track EP “The Betweeners” is a phenomenal listen that’s bound to get a room on its feet, get a crowd chanting, and get people smiling.

Full feature by Guest Writer Emmie Norton
Artwork by Kip McCauley

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