7 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Emerging from the same sweat-soaked Sydney “beer barns” that had birthed AC/DC, Midnight Oil pioneered a similarly driving hard rock sound on its eponymous debut. Though “Powderworks” is a brilliantly mean slab of power rock, its unusual chord voicings were an early indicator that Midnight Oil wasn't a standard-issue rock act. Among other influences, shades of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd color “Dust” and “Nothing Lost—Nothing Gained.” Another distinctive element in the Oils' early palette is surf music, which permeated the culture in the band's home territory of coastal Australia. The eerie, slinking delivery of “Surfing with a Spoon” is just one example of how Midnight Oil integrated surf-guitar aesthetics into its playing without becoming an outright surf outfit. If anything, this early incarnation of Midnight Oil resembles Thin Lizzy, another band from the British diaspora that created galvanizing rock anthems with narrative wit and atmospheric song structures. Though it's considered an oddity within the Oils’ catalog, the first album is one of the few records to exist in the rare zone where punk, hard rock, and new wave overlap.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Emerging from the same sweat-soaked Sydney “beer barns” that had birthed AC/DC, Midnight Oil pioneered a similarly driving hard rock sound on its eponymous debut. Though “Powderworks” is a brilliantly mean slab of power rock, its unusual chord voicings were an early indicator that Midnight Oil wasn't a standard-issue rock act. Among other influences, shades of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd color “Dust” and “Nothing Lost—Nothing Gained.” Another distinctive element in the Oils' early palette is surf music, which permeated the culture in the band's home territory of coastal Australia. The eerie, slinking delivery of “Surfing with a Spoon” is just one example of how Midnight Oil integrated surf-guitar aesthetics into its playing without becoming an outright surf outfit. If anything, this early incarnation of Midnight Oil resembles Thin Lizzy, another band from the British diaspora that created galvanizing rock anthems with narrative wit and atmospheric song structures. Though it's considered an oddity within the Oils’ catalog, the first album is one of the few records to exist in the rare zone where punk, hard rock, and new wave overlap.

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