A ride of vibrant emotions. Sometimes fun, sometimes touching and nostalgic; enjoyable all the way through. “1996” is North Queensland rock band Poison Oak’s new EP with very story driven lyrics and superb musical compositions that consolidates this 5 piece band as masters of emotional rock and roll.
Poison Oak is a North Queensland project made up by James Balthes, Russell West, Ray Pearson, Lachlan Gleadhill and Chris Reiterer. They all had been playing with different outfits throughout Australia until they decided to create this supergroup!
Their first release was single “Start Again”, and it was smooth sailing from there on with the release of “Feeling Numb On Sundays” and their first EP the “Living Room Sessions”, each of them with the band’s distinctive emotional power and great metaphorical lyrics. Now, after releasing the single “Sarah” (which we covered a couple of weeks ago), the’ve returned with a brand new EP consisting of 6 tracks filled with raw sentiment.
First track strikes fast with “Waiting”, an explosive song with lyrics about relationships and wanting to see your loved one smile. Catchy, raw and well balanced between frustration and care. Then we have EP’s title track “1996”, a fun and nostalgic tune that reminisces better times with lyrics like “It seems to me that everything was so much better then”. Great chorus carried by pumping drums and bass, while rugged guitars season along. Very energetic and quite lovable, a composition that invites to go back in time and “watch the world go by”.
Next we have our previously reviewed track “Sarah”, and let me just reassure the quality in lyricism and composition, an ode to past traumas filled with very uplifting guitars and a vibrant, catchy, chorus. Very dynamic and never boring, I feel this quite resumes Poison Oak’s music.
“Some People Tell Lies” is track 4 and is by far the more sentimental with a soft melodic entrance with an increasing energy that stretches ever more until its again soft finale. A song about people running away with no explanation, and lying to hide the pain. Heartbreaking lyrics and really powerful delivery by every piece of the band, no holds barred. Raw, epic and touching.
“Let You Down” is track 5 and it’s a heavy blues soundtrack with a hint of aggression and confident deliverance. Somber and a bit wicked. A brilliant composition with an evolving bridge that carves the path to an epic finale.
Finally we have “Thinking Of You”, a more romantic ballad-style song that represents the difficulty to stop thinking about someone you love after they go away. Swaying and nostalgic, a perfect ending after such an emotional ride.
The EP was recorded at Lonesome Bell Music by Joel Sutton in Townsville. It is co-produced by both Joel and James Balthes and mixed by Joel.
With this EP I found that “perfection” is just a theory, and what’s most important is the capacity to transmit in order to let other people identify with what you’re feeling. We want to congratulate Poison Oak for such a beautiful job and wish nothing but the best in their future endeavors.
So if you’re into emotional, epic, rock and roll with a retro vibe don’t forget to support this project and to follow them on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify. If you enjoy their music and are able to provide monetary support, you can download their music on Bandcamp.
Remember that you can always find me here Linktree MadZen for all my social media and own music.
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