What a year it’s been for Brisbane indie-dance five-piece The Belligerents. Sold-out single launches, EP launch shows, and support slots for the likes of Van She have kept the boys busy and in the perfect position to unleash their party-starting tunes to audiences up and down the country.
Brisbane knows them best - the young band has practically become a permanent fixture in the Fortitude Valley music scene, and when they’re not making audiences bounce, they’re part of one themselves. It’s easy to see why they’ve done so well - they’ve got a small but catchy set of pumping indie tracks, and enough partyboy cockiness to drop a thousand pairs of panties.
She Calls The Shots is their second EP, after 2011’s Less Arty More Party, and was recorded with producer Yanto Browning (The Medics, Jungle Giants, Tara Simmons). While Less Arty More Party could be accused of having elements of filler, She Calls The Shots is one hundred percent killer.
First up is the title track which starts with some lo-fi rhythm guitar, delicate synths, and a meandering lead guitar line, before singer Lewis Stephenson runs through a few verses describing a girl who is “high every day”. The sound is built up to a peak with some nice harmonies as everything gets louder and faster before being brought back down to a neat finish.
Second track ‘Infatuation’ is the best on the EP in this writer’s opinion, and one that was launched as a successful single on a short tour earlier this year. Prominent is Konstantin Kersting’s brilliantly creepy bass line and Stephenson’s lyrics about stalking an ex-girlfriend. It’d be a great song for a horror movie if it wasn’t too busy being so damn catchy.
Third track ‘Steal Money’ is another The Belligerents have blasted out across venues all over the east coast. The new version seems heavier than previous incarnations of the song - certainly in the bass and White Stag’s percussion - and the sound is noticeably improved as a result.
Penultimate track ‘Imagination’ continues the danceable indie guitar noise, and could be a good song to jam for about three times the length of the recorded version when played live; it’s just begging to be made into a ten minute Stone Roses-esque wig out. I’m picturing some sort of indie-dance jam extravaganza, with all members hammering the living shit out of their instruments in one pulsating, cacophonous climax as the searing pyrotechnics threaten to burn the house down. Ok, this mightn’t be in The Belligerents budget just yet, but everyone should have a goal, right?
The final song ‘Wait’ rounds off She Calls The Shots nicely with a synth-heavy slice of pounding pop with plenty of “woo-oo-oo” harmonies and a little weapons-grade swearing to add a bit of bite. It’s definitely the most dance-y track here and should be enough to get audiences moving.
All in all, a fine second release from The Belligerents.
Paul McBride- AAA Backstage