Album Review: The Bennies - Wisdom Machine

21 March 2016 | 5:04 pm | Mark Beresford

"The Bennies party so well that a lot of their music is dismissed as some sort of parody."

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Melbourne's The Bennies have earned an ever-increasing following over the last five years. In part owing to their constant regiment of explosive energy live shows, and combined with a never-say-die attitude, they've become the poster boys for partying hard and partying very, very well.

In fact The Bennies party so well that a lot of their music is dismissed as some sort of parody. Their latest record Wisdom Machine may go a long way to changing minds on this.

Still capturing the frantic fun and outrageous humour of The Bennies, Wisdom Machine has pushed the band so that they deliver more politically charged and musically bold tracks, which slot in nicely alongside hazy-eyed anthems.

The genre-smashing enthusiasm from the band is clear, and yet the mix works surprisingly well. Menacing tracks like Corruption, a commentary on law enforcement featuring a Sabbath-style doom riff, contrast highly personal lyrics and brass melodies in tracks like O Brother, Where Art Thou? 

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It's no shock that there is a multitude of drug references squeezed into the other songs on the album. The dance-inducing vibes remain with Party Machine, there are '80s flashbacks in Detroit Rock Ciggies, and the album even features a little ska in Legalise (But Don't Tax). Existing fans fear not, 4.20 still represents here.

With Wisdom Machine, The Bennies have managed to pull out their best release to date, while still evolving as a band with stronger creative hooks and experimentation.