bodyjar hysteria

BodyjarNew Rituals

Pile Of Sand Records
4th February, 2022
A Total Triumph!

Bodyjar’s seventh studio album New Rituals bursts out of the gate at breakneck speed with incendiary opener Burning Truths–an immediate reminder that these Melbourne punk-rockers remain at the top of their game. Shout-along choruses, pelting drums, curly riffs–what’s not to like? The mosh pit beckons.

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“Get out of my head/I don’t trust you anymore/The same old bullshit like before/When it’s right in front of me, I can’t see anything at all”–Get Out Of My Head, a propulsive track with instantly catchy vocal melodies, whetted our appetites upon its release back in August, 2021. And this 12-song set further cements Bodyjar as one of this country’s greatest punk rock exports.

The band’s 2016 Hazy Shade Of Winter cover absolutely goes off live and we can’t wait to experience Bodyjar’s rendition of Rain–endorsed by Dragon’s bassist Todd Hunter himself–next time they hit the stage. Nick Manuell has gotta love playing this song’s sinister, focus-pulling bassline and the unconventional song structure–with a chorus climax that hits, unexpectedly, just before the halfway mark (“Don’t you GO out in the RAI-I-ain”)–is a masterstroke that remains faithful to the OG song arrangement.

Over 25 years as a band has served them well. Bodyjar have never sounded better than they do on New Rituals.

Elsewhere, Billy captures the elasticity of Cameron Baines’ vocal range in full flight and guitar flourishes taunt during the politically charged Big Shot: “We’re not for saaaaaaaaaale!” There are a couple of juicy guest appearances on New Rituals as well: Press Club’s singer Natalie Foster adds fury to Pieces, featuring riffs that coil around each other like snakes, and Shihad frontman Jon Toogood elevates Bodyjar’s stately-paced call-to-arms Be The One: “It’s time for change/The time is now/It’s futile to resist!” Pandemic-related pauses worked in Bodyjar’s favour here since they were afforded the time to revisit material and ditch the filler to replace with more killer. Over 25 years as a band has served them well. Bodyjar have never sounded better than they do on New Rituals.

STANDOUT TRACKS: Billy, Get Out Of My Head, Rain
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Descendents, Frenzal Rhomb, Shihad

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