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Best Song 2023

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Political songs (Yeah I know, “Everything is political”)

The Australian music scene is one that barely impacts upon its target audience. Certainly not in a meaningful way.1

True, the Oils are still having a go after Garret’s disastrous brush with realpolitik, but how many of us can even name another musical act that registers on the Australian psyche? OK, maybe Johnny Farnham’s song “You’re the Voice” – which appeals to the Right and the ‘Centre’ who must adore its political ambiguity.

Farnham’s song become an anthem for Libertarians/Sovereign citizens and other assorted ‘Cookers’ (pejorative No. 8). The Labor Party then decided to use it (belatedly) in their ill-fated Voice campaign which seemed blissfully unaware that most Aussies are conservative racists. Weird, cos that’s who Labor’s policies are mostly aimed at pleasing. I couldn’t take the whole Voice thing seriously. Think hanging around with Aboriginal people in the NT has made me suspicious of whitefella intent.

Who else? Tim Minchin whose ‘Come Home (Cardinal Pell)‘ song will always be a personal favourite, has recently come out as a hypocrite over (of all subjects) genocide. Tim informed us, that he had studied “philosophy and psychology”, so knew his stuff, unlike (we assume) the artists that had the temerity to don traditional keffiyeh scarves2 at the opening night of Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Seagull.



According to Tim their protest against the Gaza Genocide – was that of naive intellectual inferiors “living in leftie glass bubbles” who unlike his good self hadn’t been educated at Christ Church Grammar School and the UWA. Ergo their views and acts were worthless.

Nothing wrong with having an ego Tim. Just not the classist, cuntish one you display here. That’s a chilling and grandiose worldview. To deem Israel’s mass murder of Palestinian civilians as somehow acceptable and a subject your uneducated “lessers” should avoid.

In fairness to Tim – Sydney Theatre Company foundation director Tim Minchin appears to have denied suggestions that he weighed into the controversy surrounding a pro-Palestine stunt from the company’s actors. In an Instagram post on Thursday, the singer-songwriter wrote: “I thought if I ever get cancelled it would be for something I actually said.”


I‘m sure there are other politically influential musical acts that I’ve neglected to mention. Let’s throw The Saints (huge fan) and Skyhooks into the mix, but even my omissions kinda prove my point about Australian acts and their influence.


Enter the MUDRAT

The reason MUDRAT made an immediate impression was his adherence to the Dingo News music imperatives.


MUDRAT – is a Hip-Hop artist based in Naarm (Melbourne) Australia – Formerly Known As KVNYL


Other performers, bands, musical acts take note, if you ever hope to be in the running for a Dingo Music Award.

Seriously. Lift your fucking game!

Hip Hop doesn’t always appeal to this old punk rocker but some of it is just bloody great – overriding one’s genericism.3 MUDRAT is about fusing a heap of styles and managing some slick transitions. Not gonna wax too lyrical, cos music reviews turn me off when they get too analytical.

triple j Unearthed gave MUDRAT a good, intelligent rap.

“A multi-talented creative visionary, rapper, singer and writer, MUDRAT (FKA – KVNYL) music has gained acclaim for his use of genre-bending instrumentals alongside passionate delivery, raw lyricism and high-impact production.


Creating music that draws from his perspective of the world, life experience and cultural roots and political beliefs he has quickly cultivated a reputation for his versatility, raw energy & powerful live performances.

MUDRAT blends punk, metal & hip-hop influences with booming vocals and is set to ruffle a few feathers going into 2024.”

“Sounds Like: Genesis Owusu, IDLES, Denzel Curry, Rage Against the Machine, Slowthai”


Quite simply, MUDRAT is brilliant. Innovative, with an impressive diversity of style and theatre.


Music is emotion!

Watch the vibe change in a pub when Acca/Dacca makes its presence felt. Or simply note how music primes a scene with every emotion from foreboding to sheer joy in a well-crafted movie.



Injustice, is a theme largely ignored by the Australian music scene. MUDRAT doesn’t fuck around. Straight into it.

The PM’s portrait torn to shreds and trampled.

A middle-finger signals contempt.

Clear imagery that evokes immediate emotion from both “Albo’s” critics and supporters.

Job done!




The message is succinctly explained and belted out fiercely by MUDRAT.

“The Prime Minister that I voted for is a fucking pussy!” 4

“The Prime Minister that I voted for, now condones a war against Geneva accords”

Gaza death toll has increased by 40 percent compared to before the temporary humanitarian truce


Reading some of the interviews featuring MUDRAT and listening to his songs, you’re left with the impression that this is an artist who could teach Tim Minchin a thing or two about “philosophy and psychology”.



By Mick Lawless






Hip-hop war anthem reaches number one in Israel
“‘Charbu Darbu’ by Ness Ve Stilla promises to rain fire on Israel’s enemies, capturing the righteous indignation felt by Israeli youth during the Israel-Hamas war”



1 Was in WA during the punk era. Plenty of bands about and a vibrant scene. The Manikins, Scientists, Victims, Rockets, The Paper Dolls and a few others I can’t recall. They didn’t make much of a dent in the political conservatism that is Perth.

As Adam Trainer puts it in ‘Perth punk and the construction of urbanity in a suburban city – “While a few songs took aim at “Perth’s mundanity and cultural blandness for the most part Perth punk’s politics was a politics of the self””

My keffiyeh scarf has arrived.

3genericism” – Love it when a word I think doesn’t exist – does. Would have used it anyway. 

4 This denunciation of our glorious leader was met with the usual, “You’re a Liberal!”* on social media. – “The Prime Minister that I voted for” – makes that predictable ejaculation sound even dumber than usual.

*(Liberals are Conservatives in Australia)


Why Peter Garrett lost his way

Israeli children singing “We will annihilate everyone in Gaza”

The “Aboriginal Voice” to Parliament: “Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me countless times…” – Mick Lawless

Sovereign Citizens: Eccentrics or Extremists?

Garrett approves uranium mine


INTERVIEW: KVNYL On Balancing Self-Forgiveness And Responsibility

Are Australians ready to embrace libertarianism?

Cooker – Wikipedia

Labor accused of caving to Dutton as ‘draconian’ bill restricting released detainees is passed

Tim Minchin’s ‘Come Home (Cardinal Pell)’ song

Tim Minchin weighs in on STC pro-Palestinian protest furore

Christ Church chaplain says he never told sex abuse victim to ‘forget about it’

UWA criticised for Australian Family Association talk by transgender sceptic Quentin Van Meter

Ego is not a dirty word – Skyhooks – Countdown

Tim Minchin ‘denies’ weighing in on Sydney Theatre Company stunt

Gaza death toll has increased by 40 percent compared to before the temporary humanitarian truce

The Saints (’73 -’78) – Orstralia (live)

Skyhooks : Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo) live Nov 84

Perth punk and the construction of urbanity in a suburban city