Poison Oak are an Indie Rock, Punk band hailing from the heated swelter of the North Queensland town of Townsville. With beginning from 2019 the band consist of members James Balthes, Ray Pearson, Chris Reiterer and Adrian Tarca. Since their inception the band has released three EP’s and a string of singles, landing themselves in well-known music magazines throughout the globe including Vents, Happymag, Scenstr, Hysteria and Amnplify.
From 2019 – 2020, Poison Oak released three singles, “Start Again”, “Feeling Numb On Sunday” and “Travelling Band”. These singles giving an early to bands developing sound with triple j’s Gemma Pike stating, “Hand claps and all, this is straight up feel-good indie. And the pre-chorus gave me good DCx3 flashback”, on Feeling Numb on Sunday. The band soon released their first EP, “The Living Room Session”, just a small snippet of their sound to be.
Soon, after this release the band were working on their second EP, “1996”, with three singles hailing from the extend play Waiting, Sarah and 1996. Slightly furthered in development of sound from their previous EP the band garnered attention from known media outlets magazines throughout Australia. Happy Mag stated, ‘Heralding from Queensland Five piece rockers Poison Oak have brought the best of their rock n roll chops to their powerful EP 1996’. While Amnplify stated about the single ‘Sarah’, ‘I’m sure Sarah is a song that will resonates with people both musically and lyrically’.
Throughout 2021 and 2022 the band played a variety shows throughout their hometown, including headlining TMPAS night at the Herbet Hotel as well as playing Otherwise Bar’s Groovin the Moo Freshly Squeezed. After these shows Russell West, of whom played bass left the band, to focus on family commitments. While Adrian Tarca joined the group solidifying the final line up that the band is known for today. The band then set to work on recording their third EP in early 2021, “The View from Here”. The first single from the extended play, “Losing Ourselves” was signed to Italian record labal, Epictronic with the single garnering critical acclaim across the globe. Canadian magazine ‘From the Strait” wrote, ‘It’s a catchy indie rock tune, with some slick production that will appeal to an even wider audience. This song is sure to break some barriers for this band, and garner new fans from all over (like right here in Canada)’. The song also landed in the top 30, for the indie rock section, for the Australian Song writing Awards. After gaining new fans from ‘Losing Ourselves”, the band then released their second single “Weekend Blues”, then third single “Hope You Like the View”.
Both singles further consolidated Poison Oak in the Australian music scene. Landing on Spotify editorial playlists and national and international magazines. While Hysteria magazines stated ‘Weekend Blues has got life anthem written all over it. If you’re a fan of genuine, raw rock and roll, give it a listen, you won’t be disappointed’. While triple J’s Zan Rowe described “Hope You Like the View” as ‘Melodic and full of heart’.
With three singles out in the world the band than released their third EP “The View from Here”. A more concise collection of their sound. Refined riffs, more melodic melodies and more daring structures. With three Ep’s under their belt, Poison Oak hit the studio in July 2022 to record their debut album. With more mature production, and a stronger taste of who they are, the first single “Found Myself” was released on the 23rd of December, introducing the world to the band new sound. With blazing riffs on top of a 2000’s indie rock soundscape. The single quickly found itself on blogs throughout the world. The band followed up with the release of the albums second single “Around My Head”, on the 3rd of March. With the single landing in Happy Mag, “Poison Oak’s Around My Head, is a captivating musical masterpiece that showcases the band’s remarkable ability to create poignant and evocative rock anthems”. The band was in Cairns 89.1 FM’s FNQ Original’s top 20 songs of the month.