If you're heading to The Oils' Wollongong gig on March 2, check out this review of their new album.
WHEN Midnight Oil released their mini album The Makarrata Project 18 months ago - their first new music since 2002 - there were concerns the legendary band had lost the primal grunt which initially propelled them from Sydney's pub scene into the national consciousness in the '80s.
The forthright message advocating constitutional change to recognise the First Peoples of Australia was powerful, but with the exception of lead single Gadigal Land, nothing hit you in the guts like The Oils best material.
The strength of Midnight Oil's longevity is their ability to reach across the political divide through the power and passion of rock'n'roll to educate their audience on issues affecting our country. Those political divides have only widened since Midnight Oil released their classic albums 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (1982) and Diesel and Dust (1987) to prove activism and pop music could be commercially viable.
Thankfully Midnight Oil's farewell album Resist delivers everything Oils fans could have hoped for. It's direct and passionate, but the rage has been tempered by a sense of failure. Peter Garrett once sung "The time has come/ To say fair's fair," but on Resist's opening track Rising Seas he bemoans that his generation could have already failed the youth through inaction on climate change.
"Every child put down your toys and come inside to sleep/ We have to look you in the eye and say 'we sold you cheap'."
Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey's trademark one-two guitar punch is in full grandeur on Nobody's Child, while late bassist Bones Hillman is provided a fitting finale to showcase his talents on We Resist as Garrett sings, "In the age when the loudest voices win/ Words are now worth less than silence."
Rob Hirst, as always, provides the muscular backbone to further cement his reputation as one of Australia's finest drummers.
Resist has certainly whet the appetite for Midnight Oil's farewell tour. They sign off as Australia's greatest political band, who still have something poignant to say. It's now up to the new generation to keep pushing that battering ram forward.
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