Five Albums That Shaped The Bennies

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Five Albums That Shaped The Bennies

The Avalanches – El Producto EP



I remember seeing Avalanches not long after this EP came out. Dudes jumping around the stage, frantically rapping in these weird nasally voices, bashing on various synths and keyboards and interchanging roles constantly with the drummer and bass player, their DJ taking the crowd on a trip with mind blowing beat juggles, and even cutting up weird sounds like exotic bird calls. This EP captures their ability of taking funky, sample heavy hip hop loops, and jamming them live with the wild energy of a live punk band, then laced with fat 808 drums and loops that sound like a soundtrack from a kooky old cartoon or horror movie. The main thing that stood out to me both in this recording, and in their live sets, was that they were having so much fun while playing, and just how infectious that is to the listener. A huge influence on me and still on high rotation.


Black Sabbath – Vol. 4



Hearing songs off this album immediately takes me back to my teenage years when my mates and I would blast these tunes in the car on road trips down to the coast searching for waves. In the absence of any waves to surf we’d drive around looking for some other cheeky shit to get up to. With the car stereo cranked we’d all be head banging in sync while singing along to Ozzy’s words or Tony’s epic guitar riffs. Back at the time of its release these geezers were pushing the boundaries of heavy metal music with an experimental edge. As a ‘90s kid listening to this stuff I loved the energy, the crunchy tones, all the melody baked into every song and how seamlessly they moved between different themes. Bill Ward’s drumming on this album has such a cool jammy feel to it with heaps of personality and the interplay with the rest of the rhythm section is perfect and something to strive for as a drummer.


Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine



Rage Against The Machine was probably as close as I ever got to nu metal but I’m glad to have gone deep on this one; I think I had to buy this CD twice because it got so scratched up going in and out of my Discman. I really dug the blend of genres with heavy metal, punk, funk and hip-hop thrown together in this way with so much attitude and depth. The whole album is really engaging from start to finish and a massive pump up – you’ve got Tom Morello’s riffage and experimental sounds and Brad Wilk’s solid as fuck drumming. And of course the rap vocals from Zack de la Rocha which are front and center and he uses repetition to perfection which turns these songs into a badass political message to the establishment.


Blink 182 – Dude Ranch



Although being a ‘97 release, this album came flying into my life in my final years of high school around 2001 – 2004. But for most Blink fans this album means more than just a great batch of songs. It also represents a time of recreational recklessness. It gave any kid with a guitar the courage to start a band and play those three chords with pride. It immediately launches itself with opening track ‘Pathetic’ – the shared favourite song amongst The Bennies. Other personal favourites include ‘Emo’ with its slamming half time bridge, where DeLonge opens up his fretboard with a semitonal riff that defies all the usual Blink 182 ‘rules’. This record forever holds a special place in my heart as being the beacon of where things began and a really fun time to reflect on.


H-Block 101 – Burning With The Times



I think it’s fair to say this band would have been one of the most influential Australian punk bands for many artists – particularly for the Melbourne Arthouse music venue scene. So many great bands have cut their teeth in that pub and it would largely due to these guys. This record in particular really resonates with me as it was a double release and nothing says ‘fuck you’ more than a band who can smash out 22 absolute solid tracks at once. When listening to this record as each track comes on you find yourself remembering how much you love that particular song, often engaging in phrases such as “Ooh this ones a banger” or “Aahh man I forgot this was on this record”. Another reason to celebrate this record is its ability to flow through genres with such ease. From straight up folk punk/rock and roll being played out of a jet engine, to tightly controlled reggae/dub from your living room chill sesh. These guys were able to display all this all the whilst remaining the same band.



Catch The Bennies touring for Good Things Festival this December.