The latest export from Australia’s booming alt-pop scene, BENT are a post-punk group in the mould of The Raincoats or The Slits, but with their own skewed style thrown in. In a recent review of a compilation of Aussie and Kiwi DIY bands, no less than The Guardian named BENT as “Australia’s finest underground band”, which is quite a testament, especially given that they didn’t even feature on the album.
The Brisbane trio’s new EP Mattress Springs finds them in suitably chaotic style – veering from the subdued, bass-led title track’s rumination on sleep (or lack of) to closer ‘Chew Song’, with its loose inconsistent melodies, blasts of trumpet and mumbled rambling lyrics about trying to eat aluminium.
In combining what should, on the surface, be difficult and off-putting gnarled sounds with wonky lyrics, detailing love’s similarity to sneezing (‘Bless You’), or the pleasures of cut-price items (‘So Nice So Cheap’), the most charming quality of the EP comes in its no-fi extra-honest approach. And if it sounds like the songs were recorded in their living room then that’s probably because they were, judging by the accompanying video for ‘Mattress Springs’.
Mattress Springs arrives hot on the heels of the band’s debut LP Snakes and Shapes, which was only released earlier on this year. The album, as you might imagine, is a similarly messy, but even more enjoyable effort. It provides a more balanced sound than the EP – levelling things out equally between lead singer Heidi’s open-mouthed, hollering vocals, Skye’s rumble-heavy bass and Glen’s spiralling glints of fretwork.
In any case, whichever record you choose, you should get BENT, straight away. Order your copy of Mattress Springs here.