Australian alternative rock outfit the Mess Hall is in with a shout to add a second Australian Music Prize to their collection.

The critically lauded band's latest effort "For The Birds" (Ivy League) is one of nine albums nominated for the prestigious prize, the winner of which receives $30,000 Australian ($26,800).

The Mess Hall's latest effort joins AMP-nominated albums by Sarah Blasko, Oh Mercy, Kid Sam, Lucie Thorne, Bertie Blackman, Urthboy, Black Cab and Lisa Mitchell, all of which were culled from a longlist of 200 entries.

This year's shortlisted sets reflect a broad flavor of Australia's musical landscape, with urban and indie records making a strong showing. Market-leading CD album retailer JB Hi-Fi has committed to supporting the shortlisted AMP albums with a coordinated campaign.

The Mess Hall's drummer and vocalist Cec Condon took it in his stride when the band's name was announced on the AMP shortlist. The band previously won the award with their acclaimed 2007 album "Devil's Elbow" (Ivy League).

"It's great to be nominated. We didn't expect it at all," he tells "Could we win again? Maybe, but I don't think it's going to happen."

In support of the new album, the band will kick off a national tour beginning March 4 at Wollongong University. Winning the AMP for "Devil's Elbow" injected a real buzz at the band's shows, recalls Condon.

"We toured off [the AMP win] and noticed the sell-out signs went up," he says. "It helped with our crowds, and the media exposure that comes with it. And the money helped."

Modeled on Britain's Mercury Prize, the AMP was established in 2006 to recognize Australian albums on artistic excellence, rather than chart success or commercial sales.

The winner will be decided by a music industry panel, and will be announced March 12 at the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art.

Collecting society PPCA, pay-TV broadcaster Channel [V] and beverage brand Red Bull are the AMP principal sponsors. PPCA has donated the cash-prize, while $15,000 ($13,400) will be up for grabs when the Red Bull Award in recognition of outstanding potential is handed out.