bent_bandcampThe unholy racket of BeNt comes from Brisbane, a city of surprises. “Bad Beds” opens their new and 2nd album “Snakes and Shapes”.

Among the debris of BeNt’s anarchic approach to post-punk song-craft there’s a lot of bits and pieces reminding me of an unlikely collection of avant-pop adventurers.

Foremost is NZ  avant-pop pioneers The Spies, but there also seems to be trace residue here of experimental approaches by the likes of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Pere Ubu and The Sugarcubes, as well as the somewhat mis-placed (but understandable) Slits & Raincoats comparisons they seem to attract.

There’s some absurdist or Dadaist overtones to some of the content – like spoken interludes – and also some approaches to guitar noise that evoke the spirit of Fred Frith’s ‘Guitar Solos’ at times.

This kind of wilful disregard for form can often lead to all kinds of unlistenable noise, but BeNt have melody and rhythm at their heart and there’s a spirited and playful wide-eyed enthusiasm which keeps the songs fun and engaging.

If you enjoy what you hear on this album check out their action-filled Bandcamp back catalogue for more gems, like “Skeleton Man” here from their 2014 album “non Soon”