Rock outfit Poison Oak have spent enough time on the Queensland gig circuit to find some stellar local acts. These are their four favourites.
If you’re not around Poison Oak, they’re a five-piece from Queensland consisting of James Balthes, Russell West, Ray Pearson, Lachlan Gleadhill, and Chris Reiterer. They recently put out a pub rock bullseye named Waiting that’s definitely worth your time. The gang play some mean old school rock and rock, with a dash of soul and punk sprinkled in. Balthes’s distinct metaphorical storytelling is another huge selling point for the band.
Still, these legends aren’t the type of blokes to rock up to a gig without checking out the other acts. Over years of seasoned touring experience, Poison Oak reckon they’ve sighted the best local Queensland and North Queensland acts. While we anxiously wait for Poison Oak’s upcoming EP, 1996, let’s show some other local bands some love. Written in Balthes’s words, these are Poison Oak’s favourite local Queensland artists and bands.
Late November are a young band from North Queensland who have been developing their sound since High School. We love their youthful energy, rocking math indie riffs, and smooth sax playing that brings raucous energy to their live performances. I’ve seen them multiple times live and they always put on a show. They have released two EP’s and their second was released last year, really showcasing their development of sound. They’re loved here in Townsville and hopefully, we can seem them playing stages all throughout Australia soon.
Suicide Country Hour
I (James), have been watching Suicide Country Hour play for years. Every time I go back to Brisbane, I usually get a chance to hear and see them play. They have a folk indie and country sound… I would say that sometimes they have some elements of Bright Eyes thrown into the mix. However, their lyrics switch between humorous odes to sombre stories. They have a great sense of humour and the last time I saw them play was in a mechanics’ shed at the top of Boundary Street, West End. They are a great bunch of people, and I spent my late teen and early 20’s playing alongside Chris, in similar music circles. Check out this video of theirs:
I first saw Boss Moxi in 2010 at a house party we used to put on for local bands called Miltopalooza, in Brisbane. They originally had a dissonant indie grunge sound. However, they are still together and they have had a few additions to the band. Just recently, I listened to their 2020 Concept Album Egotoxin, after speaking to their drummer Alex at a friend’s party. The album is musically impressive as it covers so many styles. It’s what I imagine could be the soundtrack to a dark indie gangster film. There are elements of jazz, to smooth funk, grunge, and everything in between. I listened to the album while I was at the gym, and I can say from track one to finish it’s like a story being told with the music being the narrator.
Joel Sutton Rhythm & Blues
Joel helped us record our latest EP 1996, however, he knows a thing or two about the blues. He has worked with a range of blues artists and just recently put together a blues album called Joel Sutton Rhythm & Blues Review Vol 1. There are some classic covers on the album, and some recorded with well-known artists including Vika Bull, blues great Jeff Lang and local Townsville artist Tim Griffin. He keeps it real and true to style, real blues without the flare and that’s why we love it.
Listen to Poison Oak single Sarah from the upcoming 1996 EP below: