Sydney-based pop-punk band Bellwether have delivered their superlative debut EP ‘Impermanence’ – produced by Stevie Knight (Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly, The Dead Love) and mixed by James Paul Wisner (Paramore, Underoath).
‘Impermanence’ is five eclectic tracks of an authentic mixture of alternative rock and punk, perforated and veiled with pop-culture allusions and influences. The songs are amorous testimonies to the band’s values and passions, with the lyrical themes resonating feelings of growth and ephemerality.
“The title Impermanence comes from the line ‘I cannot be a failure stuck in infinite impermanence’ from Kaiba, with the phrase ‘infinite impermanence’ being a reference to the name of a popular Yu-Gi-Oh! card,” explains the band. “We chose Impermanence as the title of the EP because it reflected a wider theme that runs across the EP of change and growth. Each of the tracks, in some way, is about changing as a person, and is even reflected in the changing attitudes of the track list, starting in a place of self-doubt and self-loathing, transitioning and ending in self-acceptance. We all exist in a state of impermanence, and the EP is a distillation of that idea.”
The EP explodes with the opening track Ramona Flowers, a two-minute-thirty paroxysm of diverting guitar riffs and hurtling drums, guided by poignant melodies that elevate the anticipation for subsequent tracks. Second track Charade continues the high energy and dashes onwards with analogously sardonic references to characters from Scott Pilgrim, as the mix is permeated with exemplary pop-punk elements – angst, dynamism and liveliness.
Recent single Halfway Happy signals the midway point of the EP. Named after a quote from Stranger Things, the track is a serene offering of sentiments and vulnerability, conveyed with a gentler tempo and collected stride, emanating the same purifying liberation. Following that is the divergent focus track Kaiba bursting with energised dance beats and vigorous guitars, as the uplifting vocals from frontman James Graham pilot the song’s vitality, propelling towards a fusing bridge with call and response vocals from guitarist Zac Wallace.
‘Impermanence’ comes full circle with the final track and debut single Shortsighted, a melancholy curtain call that reiterates the themes of self-improvement and acceptance, inspired by the BoJack Horseman series and riddled with countless references to music from the early 2000s. The steady structure and cunning combination of docile and exhilarating hooks impeccably encapsulate Bellwether’s capabilities, capping off a stellar body of work with shimmering style.
Singles off ‘Impermanence’ have received vast support from the likes of Apple Music, triple j, triple j Unearthed, Triple M’s Hard N Heavy, Passport Approved (WW), The Faction, 4ZZZ, Three D Radio and Radio Adelaide. The band have received widespread online praise from NME, Hysteria Magazine, Backseat Mafia, Rawing In The Pit, Punktuation, HEAVY Mag, LivewireAU, AAA Backstage, Australian Music Scene and Something You Said.
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With thanks to Good Intent