Review Summary: A trip down memory lane to skate punk paradise
Bodyjar are a punk rock band who receive way too little attention and praise than deserved out with their native Australia. After the skate punk heydays of the 90s and early 00s, several of the genre’s more prominent acts began shifting their style to match the trending evolution of pop punk as the influence of skate culture began to wane. Conversely, the members of the Melbourne-based Bodyjar have remained true to their roots, continuing to release solid skate punk albums from their 1994 debut Take a Look Inside
, through to the most recent offering in the form of 2022s New Rituals
. With the 1996 sophomore Rimshot!
, the band displayed a marginally more refined take on the rough punk of the debut with enhanced production, musicianship and more focused approach to songwriting. While clearly still a skate punk album at heart, it boasts its fair share of hardcore and metal influences with razor-sharp riffs showing an obvious influence from the early material of melodic hardcore legends Pennywise and the thrash influenced punk of early Lagwagon. Add in catchy vocals in a similar vein to early Less than Jake and you have the formula for mid 90s Bodyjar.
“Windsok” is a perfect opening track, combining aggressive riffage with melodious vocals, taking you to skate punk heaven and if new to their work, it’ll have you wondering why the f*ck you haven’t listened to them before. “Adnam the One Armed Bricklayer” also impresses with harmonising twin-lead lead riffs reminiscent of NWOBHM giants Iron Maiden which although stylistically different from the bulk of the album, do not feel out of place at all. A personal highlight is “The One We Forgot” which boasts a great Dinosaur Jr.esque guitar solo, hitting all the right notes at the right time while simultaneously sounding like an on-the-spot jam. Before sounding fanboyish, it’s important to note that, Rimshot!
is far from flawless. Cracks begin to appear in the second half with some of the riffs and vocal melodies sounding recycled from the earlier tracks causing it to run out of steam and grow somewhat stale. Despite suffering from being front-loaded, Rimshot!
remains a little skate punk gem that fans of the genre should take note of. Nostalgic sounds of skating sunny days away while getting sunburnt are provided in droves. Stop missing out and give it a spin.