Review: AREA13 – ‘Classified’



A five-piece rock band from Cairns, AREA13 are a unique outfit driving classic Australian rock into some unique new directions. Combining the talents and passions of Rob Midgley, Julian Cliffe, JP [John Paul], Paul Southwell and Kev Boorman, AREA13 bring with them a century of shared experience, infusing every one of the tracks with a touch of something special. After finding their passion for music as children, the band found their separate ways in life before a fortuitous series of meetings brought them together as AREA13.


With shared music passions and a common focus on creating solid, original music, the and have gone from strength to strength, forging their timeless sound on a melee of rock, punk, pop, and blues. After proving their mettle with debut album ‘Parachutes for Puppet’s back in 2018, cutting their teeth with ten heavy anthems that set their sound in motion. Now, the band are back with their second full-length release, the unstoppable ‘Classified’.


Offering up another ten tracks of dynamic AREA13 sound, ‘Classified’ is an album of five-distinct voices and textures, with each member of the band crafting their own sound throughout. Opening with a deft and expansive stream of electric guitar, the album creates a visceral country feel in ‘Grinding My Teeth’, blending rustic harmonies with an unshakable emotive touch. As more songs flow through the speakers, JP’s ‘Indian Giver (Lost and Chasing)’ offers a far more melodic and universal sound, channelling golden rock of old, while Midgley’s contributions to ‘Stepping Stone’ and ‘This Moment’ cut clean through the medley of genres to bring a shimmering examples of soul and funk.


In ‘Revolution’ and ‘Will the World’, Southwell offers two energetic and upbeat songs that couldn’t be more opposed in sound and style, pushing the boundaries of the rock genre on two distinct fronts, while Boorman delivers both heart and soul on ‘One Step Closer’ and ‘All About You’.



It’s a unique blend of flourishing genres and musical tastes that makes ‘Classified’ work. Offering a look into the musical heart of each musician (not forgetting Cliff’s contributions to ‘Seeing Is Believing’), the album is surprisingly cohesive, flourishing rather than faltering through it’s shifting focus. It’s a testament to the band for sure, and a rare thing to find, making the band’s sophomore effort a defiant triumph in so many ways.


Score: 8/10


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