Role Model

Written by: PP on 02/01/2014 23:41:54

The 90s wasn't just a golden era for punk rock in Europe and in the US. People in other parts of the world were paying close attention to what Fat Wreck and Epitaph were doing with their bands, one of these being a group called Bodyjar from Melbourne, Australia who formed in 1993. Those in the know within punk circles remember the band for their sublime 90s output, but especially their landmark album "How It Works" from 2000 which is widely considered a skate punk classic by those who were paying attention back then. Since then it's ben rather quiet for the band, having only released "Plastic Skies" in 2002 and "Bodyjar" in 2005, and nothing since then. That is, until 2013, where they return from an 8 year hiatus to release their eighth full length "Role Model".

Let's put it this way. If you liked Bodyjar in the past, or the late 90s skate punk scene in general, you're going to like what you hear on "Role Model". Playing a style that sounds roughly like a cross between Lagwagon on "Hoss" and Millencolin on "Pennybridge Pioneers", the album feels like a trip down the memory lane for the classic 90s sound of skate punk, back when guitars were polished, but tightly played, and vocals kind of aggressive, but not devoid of melody. "Stranglehold" is a good example where the vocals are almost shouted to the point of breaking into screaming, but then already next song "Fairytales" is as quintessential skate punk as it comes with its fast riffs and big woo-hoo gang melody behind the chorus. "My Mistakes" projects the classic style further with more hard-hitting riffs (that rival No Use For A Name in places), and "If This Is It" is another catchy track sure to draw attention at Groezrock main stage this year, where the band are scheduled to perform. The open-ended riffs are expansive enough to resonate loudly at such open, festival style atmospheres, and the vocals are melodic enough to have people singing along - think along the lines of Pulley or something.

While "Role Model" might not be their best work, it's nonetheless a solid album considering an eight year break. It's a golden nugget for all those longing for the skate punk heydays of the 90s, and thus fans of any of the bands mentioned in this review should give the record a few listens either as returning fans, or as curious punk rock fans wanting to hear how things are done down under.


Download: Fairytales, Natural Selection, If This Is it, My Mistakes
For the fans of: Lagwagon, Millencolin, Implants, Strung Out, No Use For A Name, Pulley
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.10.2013

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