Bodyjar have had their fair share of reunion tours and farewell shows for the past decade but now we finally have a new album, Role Model, some eight years after their self titled release from 2005.
Whilst the band have never been ground breaking in their work, they’ve never had to be. Australians love a hard-working, working-class band and Bodyjar have been just that for the last (nearing) 20 years, bringing with them melodic infused punk and energetic live shows.
Role Model is not a new direction for Bodyjar. The band has refined their sound across their career and whilst this is not as frenetic as their 90s albums such as Rimshot or No Touch red, it matters little. The album begins with a few laid back tracks along a similar vibe to the latest Face To Face offering. ‘Petty Problems’ and the title track are hardly awe inspiring but more a gentle reminder of the Bodyjar subtlety that perhaps sets them apart from other Australian punk bands and likely a reason why their fanbase is a mix of the casual rock fan and punk fans alike.
‘Strangehold’ is one of the highlights of the album with a nice riff that kicks into Cam Baines iconic vocals that ebb and flow as the track evolves. ‘Fairytales’, the first single taken from the album takes off in a more frenetic pace with a familiar ‘whoah whoah’ backing gang vocal rearing its head throughout. The album then slides into endless melodic rock harmony with ‘Vessel’ and ‘Hope Was Leaving’ echoing the Bodyjar tried and true traits to a tee.
As a whole, Role Model complements the Bodyjar discography nicely. It never quite reaches the heights of some of the band’s previous works but it’s a pleasant return from an Australian favourite.
1. Pretty Problems
2. Role Model
3. My Mistakes
7. Hope Was Leaving
8. Break This Feeling
9. Natural Selection
10. If This Is It
11. Together Alone