Aside from NME cover stars Gang Of Youths’ magical third album ‘Angel In Realtime’, February brings the landmark 15th full-length from Midnight Oil, ‘Resist’ – a timely set of politically charged anthems from the longstanding rock icons, ahead of their final Australian tour. We’ll also hear career-defining comebacks from Bodyjar and Short Stack, plus the incendiary debut from Melbourne rapper Racerage. See the list below.
More than three decades into their tenure, Bodyjar sound as youthful and charged as ever in 2022. LP9 takes them back to the shreddier, more punky days of old, blending ultra-catchy choruses and hooks primed for singalongs with wallops of explosive riffage and pit-ready drum fills.
Keep an ear out for Natalie Foster’s cameo on ‘Little Pieces’, where the Press Club frontwoman nabs the spotlight with vicious aplomb. Matt Doria
Bodyjar’s ‘New Rituals’ is out February 4 via Pile Of Sand Records.
‘By The Book’
Bringing together Ambrin (Cool Sounds) and Anila Hasnain (Studio Magic), Dainis Lacey (Cool Sounds) and Lachlan Denton (The Ocean Party), it’s little surprise that Partner Look’s debut is immediately charming.
- READ MORE: Pop Filter: Members of The Ocean Party return in a collective that’s “throwaway, in the best possible way”
Guided by collaboration and experimentation, these esoteric jangle-pop earworms – skirting post-punk and folk influences – remain memorable long after the album’s runtime. Alex Gallagher
Partner Look’s ‘By The Book’ is out February 4 via Spunk Records.
The Melbourne rapper’s incendiary debut LP pairs razor-sharp lyricism and assertive flow with blown-out punk and industrial-tinged hip-hop production.
Taking direct aim at capitalism, cops, the ongoing impact of colonisation and more, ‘Black Medusa’ pulls no punches in its urgent message of resistance, fiercely imagining the world that comes after oppressive structures are torn down. AG
Racerage’s ‘Black Medusa’ is out February 11 via Heavy Machinery Records.
‘Are You Haunted?’
By employing a wealth of new musical quirks and instrumental techniques across nine densely layered, yet spatial soundscapes, Jake Webb (the man behind the madness in Methyl Ethel, effectively a solo project in-studio) lets his freak flag fly more proudly than ever on ‘Are You Haunted?’, his fourth full-length with the project. Loaded with intricate twists and colourful turns, it’s a musical acid trip well worth sinking into. MD
Methyl Ethel’s ‘Are You Haunted’ is out February 18 via Future Classic.
Four and a half decades after releasing their debut LP, Midnight Oil’s 13th studio album is as striking and incendiary as anything from their catalogue, at a time when it’s most needed.
The band’s final recordings with longtime bassist Bones Hillman, who died in 2020, ‘Resist’ is an urgent call to salvage our future: lead single ‘Rising Seas’, for example, takes direct aim at climate change denialism and making clear its dire consequences. AG
Midnight Oil’s ‘Resist’ is out February 18 via Sony.
‘High Spirits//Low Life’
Totally Unicorn throw caution (and time signatures) to the wind on their equally gripping and grisly third album, as Drew Gardner and co. paint an aptly bleak picture of life in the 2020s.
But as is typical for the Sydney-based outfit, ‘High Spirits//Low Life’ isn’t all doom and gloom – the bloodthirsty beats, ravaging riffs and Gardner’s scorching quips all fuse into what makes for the band’s liveliest record yet. MD
Totally Unicorn’s ‘High Spirits//Low Life’ is out February 18 via The Farmer & The Owl/BMG.
‘Maybe There’s No Heaven’
For their second shot at a comeback, Short Stack have crafted a boldly defiant, kaleidoscopic exploration into pop and rock. It wields an ambitious sonic palette, these 11 cuts spanning everything from glitch-tinged balladry that tugs at the heartstrings (‘Love You Like I Used To’) to explosive rock anthems primed for the mosh pit (‘Burn You Down’). MD
Short Stack’s ‘Maybe There’s No Heaven’ is out February 25 via UNFD.