Music

You can win friends with salad, as Borneo prove with Eating Animals

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If you haven’t become familiar with Borneo – the band, not the country, but you should probably do that too – now is the time to do so. Hailing from Sydney, the quintet captures the classic sound of the Australian city that makes it sound ‘So Sydney’ ( but not the Kyle and Jackie-O version). While they’re at it, they spin some pretty clever words into it too. Think of The Lulu Raes and High-tails combined with the words of a political and intellectual poet that may or may not be under the influence.

Eating Animals

A deceptive laid back chiller with a very important message, Borneo invigorate their pop-rock with Eating Animals.

Their latest single is called Eating Animals and at the first glimpse of a listen you might think “Cool, a quirky last minute swing at capturing the final rays of the Australian summer“. But after listening to the lyrics closely, you’ll realise that Eating Animals is in part a protest song.

After having a chat with the band and in particular, ‘Papa’ Mark, the lyricist, the group say they prefer to think of it as more of a discussion than a protest song. Mark said that he drew inspiration from John Safran’s book Eating Animals as it “Raises the idea that animals are our friends, but we mass murder these things by the millions every day to crave our hunger as humans.”

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Don’t save my soul / Head out and save a skin…will we see the bigger picture or just leave them all behind?…As we all go on just eating animals.” It’s these key phrases that will catch your attention. Although the lyrics are quite ambiguous on the surface, now and then Borneo will throw in a line that gives the sense of the broader issue at hand.

Combine the lyrics with some laid-back electric guitars and a fun loving chorus, it offsets the more pressing theme behind the single. But the main gist of the message is still quite noticeable, especially when the band playfully chants the chorus “As we all go on just eating animals”. The bass and drums provide a rolling groove that will have you nodding your head and tapping those feet.

On the surface, Eating Animals seems like it should be talking about sun, surf, sandals, sundresses, anything to do with heat really, but that’s been done time and time again. Borneo have cranked it up a notch and threw a topic worth discussing in the mix that should get us thinking. Ultimately the contrast of a relaxed AF tune and their stance on the mass killing of animals – maybe something that we should not be so relaxed about – totally work for them.