Reviews

Poison Oak


POISON OAK
WEEKEND BLUES

WEEKEND BLUES

Weekend Blues is Poison Oak’s second single from their upcoming third EP. The song characterises the feeling of the weekend, the relief of Friday, the freedom of the weekend and the eventual sombre feeling of waking on Monday. A song for the working class; Weekend Blues showcases Poison Oak’s sound to date, and their turn in Production. With catchy rock pop sensibilities, textures that are reminiscent of The Cure, Weekend Blues has a sing along chorus attuned to the everyday. Building off the success off their previous release, Losing Ourselves.

Losing Ourselves, successfully landed itself in a multitude of well-known magazines across the globe. Some including, Indie O’clock, Scenestr, Amnplify, From the Strait, Rising Artists and many more. It gained a mass of radio attention as well, further cementing the band in the indie rock scene of Australia. Losing Ourselves is considered a step up from Poison Oak’s previous releases, with Weekend Blues continuing that perspective but with a slight change of atmosphere.

Produced by Mike Myers, Weekend Blues is a song for the everyday person working their way through the week, bound to get stuck in the ears of the public.

About Poison Oak

Poison Oak is a North Queensland rock outfit made up of four members – James Balthes, Russell West, Ray Pearson and Chris Reiterer . Balthes and West met each other while working as High School teachers’ at the same school in Townsville, soon becoming friends. Both had previously played in bands throughout Australia, Balthes playing in Dunes, Jeremiah and Preachermen and Bacchanales. While Russell had previously played in Kitty in the Well, (NSW). Both knew Ray Pearson as a mutual friend, the three soon began jamming and playing throughout mid 2019. Balthes brought songs to the group made up of melodic piano ballads, catchy rock riffs and soon, the group started to gel. Grant Miles joined the group, meeting through mutual friends, adding a dynamic hard hitting style on drums. Miles soon left the band for family commitments. Chris Reiterer soon joined the group. After an extended break Chris returned to the drums two years ago with original Townsville outfit The Littmus Steampunk Band. He connected with James and Russell in 2019, jamming and playing at a local teachers battle of the bands and soon joined Poison Oak in 2020. During co-void19 the band has been writing and releasing new material while receiving radio and media attention around the globe, including reviews in Amnplify and FV music blogs hottest picks of the week. .

“Start Again”, was the bands first release, a song about starting again after going through emotional upheaval, lightly suggesting that pain brings out the best motivation. “I love the way it builds, and those chorus backing vocals are a nice touch too”, (Dan Condon, Triple J).

The band soon released their next single, “Feeling Numb On Sundays”. An Indie Rock tune with anthem like build ups, that reflects the working-class style of the band. Powerful build ups and breakdowns while including straight up rock n roll riffs. “Hand claps and all, this is straight up feel good indie. And the pre-chorus gave me good DCx3 flashback”, (Gemma Pike Triple J). “Giving it your all on this one and that’s to be admired”, (Declan Byrne Triple J). Feeling Numb Sundays’ gained international radio attention and was added to many curators play lists around the world, during it’s release. Amnpliy reviewer Laura Hughes described the song as a “track that evokes deep thought about your life, it is a song that drives home message that hit’s us to the core”. Following these release the band soon released their debut three track EP, the “Living Room Sessions”. Nkechi Anele from Triple J Roots and All show reviewed the track stating, “Love the dynamics, and the use of harmonies throughout that bring fresh sensibility to this track”. While Declan Byrne from Triple J’s Home and Hosed wrote “capturing that travelling band feel perfectly!” With Living Room Sessions gaining media attention around the globe and was Fvmusic Blog hottest finds of the week.

In October Poison Oak released their first single “Waiting” from their upcoming EP, “1996”. Waiting received multiple features and reviews in magazines throughout Australian and around the globe. Happy Magazine described Poison Oak’s new single as “hitting a pub rock bullseye”. While Amnplify’s Laura Hughes described Waiting, as “Poison Oak has written another catchy tune to get you through the week”. Tone Def Sounds wrote “What can we say about their new single, it hooks you in on the initial listen”. The single also garnered reviews in the Other Side Reviews. The Sounds Won’t Stop stated, “Poison Oak knows how to create a classic aesthetic with the just the right tones and churns them into catchy songs that makes you want to start jumping around the room and sing along”. The song also, landed on multiple playlists throughout the globe.

The band released their second single, “Sarah” from their sophomore EP “1996” in February. Landing the band more community radio play throughout Australia and a string of positive blog and magazine reviews,” Love this big stomping power pop! Really great tune that builds so well. Cheers Poison Oak”, Steph Hughes Triple J. As well as being featured in Amplify Magazine, “Poison Oak’s sound reminds me a lot of the Killers, fresh and authentic, as well as having a familiar rock sound. I’m sure that Sarah is a song that will resonate with variety of people both lyrically and musically”. The band also scored rotation on international radio stations including Lopsided World of L.

In march the band released “1996”. Triple J’s Max Quinn stated, “I think there is something here for sure, when the chorus comes in I can really here the passion in the delivery. Happy Magazine also reviewed the EP stating “Poison Oak dish hook-fuelled emotive aussie rock on 1996 EP”. With EP gaining praise from radio stations and magazines all throughout the world, the band also play series of shows in their local home of Townsville.

Poison Oak Band Members

James Balthes
Ray Pearson
Russell West
Chris Reiterer

Poison Oak – Weekend Blues

Poison Oak – Losing Ourselves

Poison Oak – Sarah

Poison Oak – Waiting

Poison Oak – Feeling Numb On Sundays

Poison Oak links:
Band/Artist location – North Queensland Townsville Australia
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