Ozpop refers to the underappreciated indie pop-rock scene in Australia that flourised from the post-punk late 1970s till the onslaught of grunge in the early 1990s.
Though encompassing a large degree of diversity, there's a certain subtle commonality to many Ozpop bands. A sense of doomed romanticism, an understated machismo and an openness to the influence of folk, punk, pub rock and even electronic can be heard in many bands of the era. Ozpop band's isolation, both geographically and in the music media, is seen to have encouraged a timelessness grounded in real life rather than the MTV-fuelled fantasies and fads that prevailed in England and America at the same period such as hair metal and new romanticism.
Australian groups such as The Apartments, The Birthday Party, The Church, Crime + the City Solution, Died Pretty, The Go-Betweens, Hoodoo Gurus, Hunters & Collectors, INXS, Killer Sheep, Laughing Clowns, The Lime Spiders, Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Plug Uglies, Primitive Calculators, Sacred Cowboys, The Saints, The Scientists, The Stems, These Immortal Souls, The Triffids and Young Charlatans can all be viewed (with an appropriate resistance to pigeonholing) as fine Ozpop bands.
Ozpop occurred against the backdrop of the larger Australian cultural movement known as "Cool Australis," wherein figures like Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max, Yahoo Serious rose to prominence, in part fueled by a strange, superficial and ultimately short-lived American fascination with some of the more stereotypical aspects of Australia. Although a few bands were able to expand their popularity to other parts of the world, most remain criminally underrated and totally under-heard.
Whereas Scottish neo-pop, Kiwi Rock (and the Dunedin sound) received a fair amount of press (and rightfully so), Ozpop remains obscure and has never been the subject of serious study.
Mayra: Great, just what this town needs, yet another shitty Britpop club to play the same crap as every other one. Why not start an Ozpop night?
Brittard: Oasis forever!
Mayra: You're such a tool.