Mat Ward

The Show Will Go On
Mau Power
Coming soon
www.maupower.com

Mau Power's new album takes listeners through the big changes in his life - and the first of those came when he was jailed. "In 2001, I got incarcerated," the Torres Strait Islands rapper tells Green Left Weekly. "And that time I was in lock-up for nine months."

Mau Power, also known as Patrick Mau, was put away for grievous bodily harm after a street fight in the southern Queensland country town of Toowoomba.

Necrocracy
Exhumed
Relapse Records
Released August 6, 2013
www.relapse.com/exhumed

Californian death metal band Exhumed couch their cutting politics in horror-themed lyrics. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to frontman Matt Harvey.

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Hip Hop, White Supremacy & Capitalism: Why Corporations Infiltrated RAP Music
Solomon Comissiong
Released November 2013
www.solomoncomissiong.com

The politics in early hip-hop music inspired Solomon Comissiong to become an activist, author, lecturer and film-maker. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to him about his work, which uses rap music as a tool to educate and organise.

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Radical Dilemma
Rebel Diaz
Released December 4, 2013
www.rebeldiaz.bandcamp.com

Rebel Diaz's much-anticipated debut album tackles a quandary faced by many activists - the "radical dilemma" of trying to change the system while being trapped in it. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to the Bronx-based activist rap duo, made up of brothers RodStarz and G1.

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Condemned To The System
Nausea
Willowtip Records
Released January 7, 2014
www.facebook.com/nauseala

Kill the Power
Skindred
Released January 24, 2013
Touring Australia from Feb 22 to March 3
www.skindred.net

Welsh ragga-punk-electronica festival favourites Skindred have hit back at all oppressors on their latest album, Kill The Power - and they're bringing their hard-hitting message to Australia with the touring Soundwave festival from February 22. Big-bearded guitarist Mikey Demus spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward.

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Corrupt Fucking System
Doom
Black Cloud Records
Released December 23, 2013
www.doomcrustpunk.com

Outspoken British crust-punk pioneers Doom have a stonking new album out and are heading to Australia. Guitarist and founding member Brian Talbot, aka Bri Doom, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward.

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Invasion Day 2014 Mixtape
Brisbane Blacks
Released January 26, 2014
www.1stnationsmobb.bandcamp.com

As countless Australians donned their Cronulla capes and sank slabs of piss this Australia Day, non-profit publication Brisbane Blacks marked the occasion by releasing a free album full of protest songs.

High Hopes
Bruce Springsteen
Columbia
Released January 17, 2014
www.brucespringsteen.net

A recent documentary on veteran US rocker Bruce Springsteen asked fans to describe their hero in three words.

The responses, compiled in the film Springsteen & I, were fairly predictable: "Badass, sensitive, perfect"; "Hope, energy, power”; “Earnest, inspiring, intense” and so on.

The non-Springsteen fans reading this could probably think of a few far less kind words. But if I were to choose three, they would be: "Open to interpretation."

Phoenix
Jimblah
Elefant Traks
2013
www.elefanttraks.com

Most people fear fire, but Jimblah embraces it. The element flares up again and again in the rapper's searingly original work - from his first album, Face The Fire, to the one that just rose from its ashes, Phoenix.

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