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EP Review: Bonney Read ‘Live To Tell’

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on May 23, 2014

Words by Cameron Nicholls

In a flurry of pink hair and piercings, Inner-West group Bonney Read have exploded from Sydney’s live music scene with new EP Live to Tell. Led by Jess Cooper’s raw vocals, the nearly all-girl band from the Inner West slash their way through five powerhouse tunes. They seriously know how to pack a punch.

It’s hardly a surprise they’ve developed such a formidable EP, considering industry heavy weights Mark Opitz and Colin Wynne (AC/DC, Cold Chisel, KISS) had a role in the production of the EP. It’s not hard to hear the influence of their ‘90s upbringing with youthful lyrics, singing of an obsession for love, friendship and just a touch of stupidity.

Their sound is a potent combination, essentially a base of stripped back rock with a sprinkling of pop that ensures compelling melodies and effective choruses. The husky vocals are reminiscent of P!nk after a rough night out – but in the very best way possible.

Live To Tell kicks off with Falls, possibly the best track of the EP. More down tempo than most, the conservative and delicate guitar progressions lead neatly to a thumping chorus with a strong beat. The diversity of the band is best on show, with infectious backing vocals that nicely contrast the heavy bass and vocals.

First single off the EP, Runways, is smart and accessible, with an uplifting chorus “we can be whatever we desire.” It’s a powerful anthem which could easily sound great in a smokey, overcrowded pub, or an open air stadium.

Comparisons could easily be made with Paramore, especially with their next track Bullet, but Bonney Read have more power – and they aren’t slowing down.

The Last Time is perhaps the most stripped back bare rock of the album. It provides a release before the epic Dear Friend. Showcasing Jess’s vocal diversity, the laid back soaring guitar riffs are nicely measured and contained.

This is the kind of record you’d expect from a band who’ve been around for much longer than they have. Electrifying, balanced and of course unabashedly loud, Bonney Read have shown they have potential for a very big future.

Bonney Read ‘Live To Tell’ Tour dates:

May 22 – Mr Boogie Man Bar, Melbourne
May 29 – Beetle Bar, Brisbane
June 5 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney

Live To Tell will be available on iTunes from June 5!

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