As I'm someone who tends to be left cold by the Australian culture (no matter how long I live here), and also have no interest in politics, from any country, it's a credit to Midnight Oil that they have been able to win me over as much as they have, although it's largely to do with the music of course.
This, their fourth album, is an astonishing leap in quality and style from their first three, and remains one of the true classics of rock. Powerful and catchy rock riffs blend with deft melodies (even if those still weren't quite as consistently outstanding compared with what was to come later) along with hard hitting lyrics of social commentary, to produce a rich listening experience that has countless highlights, right from the ominous opener "Outside World".
Following that, the best tracks include "Short Memory", "Read About It" (especially love the verses on that one), "U.S. Forces" (probably the best overall), "Power and the Passion", and "Tin Legs and Tin Mines", although there are no major weaknesses, with maybe just "Marlinga" and the concluding "Somebody's Trying to Tell Me Something" not quite up with the rest.
And even though I'm no expert on drumming, I still know terrific skin-bashing when I hear it, and drummer Rob Hirst is just magnificent through it all, no more so than when he performs the solo in "Power and the Passion".
This album isn't Midnight Oil's best - that honour in my view belongs to Diesel and Dust
. And if there's one notable criticism, at least with the original vinyl release, which is the only way I've ever listened to 10-1
, is the incredibly difficult-to-follow, almost puzzle-like lyric sheet.
The album as a whole is the start of the band's golden run, that saw them keep a remarkable streak of high quality releases right through to the 1990's. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor