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Punk Icons Bodyjar Announce First Album in Eight Years, ‘New Rituals’

Set to arrive next year, Bodyjar have given fans a taster of their new record with a cover of Dragon’s iconic “Rain”.

Nick Manuell*

It’s been a long between drinks for Aussie punk legends Bodyjar, but as the year comes to an end, they’ve announced their long-awaited new album, New Rituals.

Set for release on February 4th, 2022 via the band’s own Pile of Sand Records, New Rituals serves as the group’s first full-length album since 2013’s Role Model. Of course, they’ve not been lazy in that time, with their Terra Firma EP arriving in 2017, and a handful of singles arriving across the last two years.

Now, more than 30 years since they first formed, Bodyjar have announced their latest album, pairing its arrival with a cover of Dragon’s iconic “Rain”. A powerful (and faithful) reinterpretation of the track, it mixes classic ’80s songwriting with the sort of legendary punk energy that have made Bodyjar so beloved over the years.

“Dragon’s ‘Rain’ is a song that we have toyed with at jams for over 10 years but we never really grabbed a hold of it until this album,” explained Cam Baines. “We really wanted a cool ’80s song on the album because ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’ always went down so well live and we haven’t recorded a cover in a long time.

“I’d also just finished reading Chasing the Dragon, which is Marc Hunter’s biography and was blown away by the band’s story,” he adds. “Overall a great band of song writers, with Todd Hunter also writing ‘Age of Reason’ for John Farnham.

“I know we never had THAT kind of success but I feel a connection with them because they always seemed to put the songs first. There’s something amazing about it, it was their comeback song and it worked great! So with Todd’s blessing we can finally put it out.”

While it remains to be seen whether their cover of “Rain” will indeed do as well as their iconic cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter”, it’s a stunning return for the legendary outfit, and a powerful taster of what to expect when New Rituals arrives in February.

Bodyjar’s cover of “Rain” is out now, while New Rituals will be released on February 4th via Pile of Sand Records, with pre-orders available now.