Though we fell in love with cascading pop sensations The Belligerents over a decade ago, lovers of jangly, dance pop can fall in love all over again as the Brisbane born band come charging through with a brand spanking new record. Their first record release since 2017, the Brisbros return with an almighty EP Another Way of Living that bring a renaissance for their bright notions and addictive hooks. Ya boys are back and it has us shouting f*ck yeah.
Born from a drunken D&M and purchase of a plane ticket, the happenstance of the return of The Belligerents makes this record even more enjoyable to consume. After reconnecting for the first time for years at a birthday party, bass player/producer Konstantin Kersting and frontman Lewis Stephenson decided to get the band back together, and like a heist film from the 2000s, those sonsofbitches were in! This record embodies a spontaneous existentialism, about figuring things out and anxiety of the future, it’s like a coming of age memoir that’s weaved together with sophistication far beyond the years. It’s organised, chaotic fun.
Opening track and first single to be released, ‘Emily’ throws us straight back into the staple psychedelic twang of the gang. A falsetto juxtaposed with a driving bass really ignites a summery dance in our step and sets the scene for the record. Groovy, progressive and downright fun, it throws us right back to 2010 when the Brisbanites were laying the foundations for their sound.
‘Another Way of Living’ delivers us a melancholic meandering in a bright ‘it’s all gonna be okay’ demeanour. “I dig myself a grave, so when I’m older I can fall in” echoes through some slick psychedelic distortion that grooves through to our soul. ‘Zigzag’ is another that grounds the record down a touch, still featuring Stephenson’s falsetto, we’re hearing what feels like a much more poignant pine.
Love songs are a staple for anyone trying to figure it out, and it shines through with ‘9 Times out of 10’. “Lyrically, I’m pleading to be understood by another person. I’m crying crocodile tears and feeling sorry for myself,” describes frontman Stephenson, yet sonically this track soars high. With a synth solo that skyrockets through the stratosphere, Stephenson pens sophisticated pop that distracts us with bright lights to tell an earnest story and oh boy is it catchy.
The repetitive bass of Tell Me I’m A Winner has the head banging from the get go and is certainly a highlight of the EP. The bold 80s synth keys combined with distorted vocals, this will be the ear worm that you’ll be humming for days after.
The Belligerents have already established themselves as a staple on the scene and this record reiterates that. The sound swings between Dope Lemon and Pond these pop rockers know how to take us to another world and deliver exactly this with Another Way of Living. An EP that fleshes more feelings out from the quintet that we’ve not really seen before, this is a solid set of singles ready to take over your playlists.