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How It Works

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Album Review

The fifth release from Australia's punk heroes, boasting a dozen crisp and crunchy tracks all supercharged and swept along by the melodies. Life, love, and the pursuit of happiness are the major themes; disaster and despair are the counterpoints. The quartet may not have the answers, but they do have an unerring ability to get to the core of problems and bring them sharply into focus. From drug addiction ("Feed It") to Columbine ("Falling Down"), breaking up to starting anew, Bodyjar vividly pulls life apart to grapple with the emotions that make lives tick. "Five Minutes Away (When Punk Attack Magicians)" is not an assault on David Copperfield and his ilk, but a seething look at disillusionment, when the platitudes we offer up as comfort become no more than hurtful lies. "Ordinary Lives" is about taking chances, a recurring motif, and how life is chance; How It Works delves into life both good and bad, love and loss, celebrating while still recognizing the inherent dangers. The andrenalized music feeds through the songs with big, thumping beats, guitar riffs shredded by Cameron Baines' stop-and-go tactics, and the soaring vocals and harmonies that have just a hint of the '60s about them — Jan & Dean with body piercing and mohawks. It's a compelling sound that slots nicely into the SoCal scene, but remains uniquely Bodyjar's own.


Formed: 1991 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The Melbourne, Australia, group Bodyjar began life around 1991 as a blistering rock foursome called Damnation. Members were guitarists Cameron Baines and Ben Petterson, bassist Grant Relf, and drummer Charles Zerafa. The band finished a couple of demos, and then changed its name to Helium for its third. By 1994, the power punk-pop group had settled into the name Bodyjar, signed to the Shagpile Records label, and recorded a debut EP, Time to Grow Up. The guys followed the EP with a full-length album,...
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How It Works, Bodyjar
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