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ep review: ornithology, the adelaide crows


Naming your band after a less than stellar AFL team may seem like a strange, even unwise move. Particularly in a country that draws some of it’s deepest battle lines with football scarves.

But once you’ve heard Ornithology, the debut EP from The Adelaide Crows, you’ll be hard pressed to think of a more appropriate source for their title. Because the South Australian quartet deliver the kind of no bullshit Aussie-soft-rock that the likes of Australian Crawl and Things of Stone and Wood would be proud of . They display a keen knack for weaving smart melodies and narratives that are more considered than the offhand delivery may suggest.

Tracks such as Capital City reference the band’s background both musically and lyrically, as singer Owen Virtue outlines plans to escape life in the capital, (‘it ain’t that pretty’) over the top of an unpretentious electric guitar riff and a tinny-clutching, toe-tapping beat.

There are songs that make you nostalgic for bindi covered back lawns and rowdy games of beach cricket, though they’re not without pointed nods to now, with endearing (if slightly hackneyed) lyrics like, ‘I’m goin’ somewhere that Facebook can’t get me’.

In saying that, Ornithology’s not all sunny reminiscence and grinning hope. For instance – drawing parallels with the EP’s opener – closer Durestless is lyrically brimming with twenty-something indecision and Williamstown Beach sees Virtue play nonchalant bad boy as he sings, ‘I spent all my money on bad ecstasy’.

Despite, or perhaps because of these more serious moments, the EP as a whole plays like a weekend road trip to your hometown, and that’s what makes it likely to be given repeat listens.

Though initially it may feel a little light on substance, there is promise displayed on Ornithology that suggests these Adelaide Crows are more than capable of kicking goals. So if you’re feeling home-sick or a little bit patriotic, pack your bags and the esky and give this a spin as you take a trip into satisfyingly familiar territory.

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