Adelaide’s music scene is all backwards – and we love it

Local Adelaide artists are bringing a retro flavour to their music in 2019 – and we’re here for it (Image Source: Californiahome)

By Liliana Burges | @liliana_burges

It feels like I only go backwards, baby

Has the Australian music scene reverted back to the Pink Floyd days?

Modern Adelaide bands are taking a liking to the former rocking sounds heard between the ‘60s and ‘90s, taking a little break in the ‘80s.

These music genres range from grunge to psychedelic rock, surf rock and alternative rock.

The consensus from the bands I interviewed is that artists like ‘60s psychedelic guitar wiz Jimi Hendrix and ‘70s rock legends Led Zeppelin, as well as the modern style of Tame Impala and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, are the influencers sparking this radical change.

So, are we excited about this new wave of groovy rock?

I’ll let this Tame Impala line answer that question: let it happen, let it happen (It’s gonna feel so good).

Adelaide’s selection of underground talent is extensive and not nearly as valued as it should be.

Steering away from the general upbeat electronic pop sound that has been routinely rammed into our ears, bands like The Max Headroom, Choosing Sides, and Shaman Eyes are returning to a ‘90s grunge sound mixed with ‘60s psychedelic rock.

Their renewed style of psychedelic music leaves us questioning why the rocking wave of music ever left our radios in the first place.

The Max Headroom is one of the many new bands breaking into Adelaide’s alternative music scene, pursuing a ‘60s psychedelic rock style.

Lead singer Ben Martin is backed by Hamish Szabo (guitar and bass), Lachie Kernahan (guitar and bass), Marcus Kernhan (guitar, bass and keyboard), and Patrick Kernahan (drums).

The young group has a diverse style of music, ranging from surf rock to grunge, while also maintaining their original sound as an alternative psychedelic band.

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The Max Headroom performing at The Golden Wattle (Image Source: Lauren Alyce Photography).

The band formed at the beginning of 2018, and had their first gig in March of the same year at the Crown and Anchor.

The gig was one to remember for all the wrong reasons.

As they were only informed of the performance a day-and-a-half prior, they were grossly underprepared, resulting in a forgotten keyboard, a broken wah-wah pedal, a torn through bass drum, and eventually, a gig cut short.

Despite their humble beginnings, the band have developed into one of Adelaide’s must-see artists.

Be sure to check out their upcoming gigs at the Brick City Bar this Friday, July 26, and at the Thebby Social Club this Saturday, July 27.

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The Max Headroom at Gloria Jean’s coffees; from left to right: Hamish Szabo, Lachie Kernahan, Patrick Kernahan, Ben Martin and Marcus Kernhan (Image Source: Liliana Burges).

Another Adelaide rock band influenced by the psychedelic music scene is Choosing Sides.

The group has brothers Will Wright (lead singer) and Frankie Wright (drums) along with best friend Lawson Hansberry (bass guitar) and Michael Wright (guitar).

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Choosing Sides band members from left to right: Lawson Hansberry, Will Wright, Frankie Wright and Michael Wright (Image Source: Choosing Sides Facebook Page)

The group describe their sound as “Indie but groovy” and “kind of dancy”, and the general vibe of their music is “fun sort of sing-along songs”.

Differing slightly from others, Choosing Sides has a more alternative indie sound, meaning their influencers are alternative bands, such as Catfish And The Bottlemen, Nothing But Thieves and Arctic Monkeys.

The band chose the simple yet chic name “Choosing Sides” after hours of consideration.

“We sat down for about three hours, got a list of about 50 different names and we searched every single one of them up on social media,” said drummer, Frankie Wright.

“All of them were used apart from about three, so it came down to Choosing Sides.”

Choosing Sides will be performing at Crown and Anchor on August 1 and at Northern Sound System on August 3.

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Speaking with Choosing Sides at Gloria Jean’s coffee (Image Source: Liliana Burges).

Shaman Eyes are also among the Adelaide bands looking to break through the psychedelic music scene.

The band consists of Aidan Demczuk (vocals/guitar), Mathew Prasinov (vocals/bass guitar) and Zed Crawford (drums).

Aidan describes their band as falling into a more psychedelic punk or garage sound; an up-and-coming rock band that can only be described as “trippy”.

The band’s inspirations range from The Beatles to Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and iconic rock band Queens of the Stone Age.

The band’s origin story is a common one.

Aidan was experimenting with some compositions for a few years and then eventually brought some friends into the picture and started rehearsing.

One thing led to another and now we have the rock psychedelic sounds of Shaman Eyes.

The band name Shaman Eyes, emphasising the word “Shaman”, may sound familiar to the gamers out there.

Aidan came up with the name while he was playing the video game World of Warcraft.

He was “obsessed” with the cool appearance of Shaman in the game, and decided it would have to be in the name of the band.

Check out Shaman Eyes’ upcoming gigs for some “midweek madness” at the Crown and Anchor this Saturday, July 27 and Wednesday, August 14.

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Shaman Eyes drummer Zed Crawford performing at the Crown and Anchor (Image Source: Shaman Eyes Facebook page).

So what has caused the return of psychedelic rock?

The Max Headroom and Choosing Sides believe the comeback can be attributed to the rise of Tame Impala.

The Max Headroom also said the Triple J indie movement has played a large part in the publicity of alternative underground bands.

Ultimately, the answer all three bands can agree on is that music history repeats itself.

There is no definitive answer as to why this style of music in Adelaide is heading back through time, but rock enthusiasts are sure excited that it is.

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