9 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A classic expression of middle-class angst, Midnight Oil’s second album, 1979’s Head Injuries, brings together the nervous energy of new wave, the muscular aggression of heavy metal, and the purposeful insolence of punk rock. At this point in the band's career, the Oils were still Australia’s best-kept secret. But one can’t help but feel that if Midnight Oil had formed in England, songs like “Section 5,” “Back on the Borderline," and “No Reaction” would be considered definitive anthems of early punk rock, alongside tunes by The Clash and The Stranglers. On the other hand, the Oils’ ostracism from the mainstream music industry let the band's idiosyncrasies thrive, and those idiosyncrasies are what make Head Injuries great. The creeping march of “Profiteers” is totally unique to this band, even as its premonition of impending war makes it a rejoinder to The Clash’s “London Calling.” The album’s definitive song, however, is “Koala Spirit,” which stands alone its portrayal of Australian ennui: “I'm sick of seeing those beer-can caravans,” sings Peter Garrett. “I'm getting even sicker of the thong drive-in…”

EDITORS’ NOTES

A classic expression of middle-class angst, Midnight Oil’s second album, 1979’s Head Injuries, brings together the nervous energy of new wave, the muscular aggression of heavy metal, and the purposeful insolence of punk rock. At this point in the band's career, the Oils were still Australia’s best-kept secret. But one can’t help but feel that if Midnight Oil had formed in England, songs like “Section 5,” “Back on the Borderline," and “No Reaction” would be considered definitive anthems of early punk rock, alongside tunes by The Clash and The Stranglers. On the other hand, the Oils’ ostracism from the mainstream music industry let the band's idiosyncrasies thrive, and those idiosyncrasies are what make Head Injuries great. The creeping march of “Profiteers” is totally unique to this band, even as its premonition of impending war makes it a rejoinder to The Clash’s “London Calling.” The album’s definitive song, however, is “Koala Spirit,” which stands alone its portrayal of Australian ennui: “I'm sick of seeing those beer-can caravans,” sings Peter Garrett. “I'm getting even sicker of the thong drive-in…”

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