Geelong band Cereal Killer. Photo via
JD Future Legends & Noisey present THE NEXT ON TOUR series of summer gigs. Hitting six metro and regional cities around the nation, THE NEXT ON TOUR will showcase some of Australia’s rising musical talent. Every show is free but you need to RSVP now!
The best hardcore and punk has always been driven by teen boredom, angst, disenfranchisement, and frustration. Basically the same stuff that runs like tap water in small or regional cities.
From Parkway Drive in Byron Bay to the Anti Fade records gang in Geelong, Australia has a strong history of producing quality punk and hardcore bands from regional centres. These are bands that are pissed off with the small town mentality of footy culture and Friday night at the pub.
Here is a snapshot of some of Australia’s regional punk hotspots.
Byron Bay music is about more than just Splendour and dirty hippies drumming djembes on the beach. Led by Parkway Drive, the local hardcore punk scene has built an international reputation for producing raging bands and rabid fans.
Acts such as 50 Lions, Crime Scene, Gruel, Word Up, In Hearts Wake, Shackles and of course Parkway Drive all call Byron and home and prove that local kids do more than just surf and yell at tourists from passing cars.
Victoria’s second largest city has long been a breeding ground for amazing young rock and punk. Forming in 1986 as a bunch of 15 and 16- year-olds GOD smashed out a cheeky and powerful style fuelled by Aussie pub rock and US punk. Their song “My Pal” is one of the best Australian songs of all time. Other bands such as Bored!, Seaweed Gorillas and Magic Dirt helped make Geelong Rock City for most of the 90s and early 2000s.
In recent years, a new crop of young punks revolving around the Anti Fade label have been busting out garage punk and pop at a frantic pace; bands such as Frowning Clouds, Ausmuteants, Living Eyes, Wet Blankets, Cereal Killer, Hierophants and Orb.
Way before Royal Headache, band members Shogun and Shorty played in Nintendo Police and Fistful, respectively. The two bands were part of a loose hardcore scene based around the Hornsby PSYC on Sydney’s Upper North Shore in the early 2000s. Along with bands such as Meataxe, Spastic Van, and V.B.S., they appeared on the Violent Hornsby Straightedge compilation that was released on Snapshot Records in 2000.
Shows at the PCYC were legendary with many people travelling good distance to attend the all-ages gigs. Though it may have quieted down in recent years, any scene that involved one half of Royal Headache is a good scene.
Until recently, bagging out the Canberra music scene (or lack thereof) has been as easy as bagging out Federal politicians travel expense budgets. But a new crop of ACT bands such as TV Colours, the Fighting League, Wives and Hygiene have brought a whole lot of verve and snazz to the city’s usual grey and stiff music scene.
This article is presented in partnership with JD Future Legends. Drink Responsibly.