Black Coral
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Black Coral

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Post-rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Black Coral "Everything is an influence""

Adelaide trio Black Coral have a rich, layered sound that masterfully harks back to early 80s England. Despite the occasionally ominous tone of their music, Black Coral singer and guitarist Ian Messenger was as bubbly as ever when he caught up with Rip It Up as the band prepare to launch their new EP Big Nothing.

“With the synths, and the three-piece drum, bass and guitar, it does end up being a bit new wave-ish,” says Messenger. While all the members are fans of Joy Division, there’s plenty more influencing their sound, from post rock to new wave, with touches of psychedelic rock too. “Everything is an influence really, everything you listen to in life,” he says.

The three-piece have built a strong following since their inception in 2012, however last year saw them gain a trump card in well-known local producer and bassist Matt Hills. He had already worked with the band on previous recordings, adding some distinctive synth parts. “Matt would always be my first choice as producer – I just love his work. The songs I write do so well with the style Matt does, so there’s a really good partnership there,” says Messenger.

While the Big Nothing EP features synths throughout, the band has decided to remain a trio live, using a backing track for synths New Order-style. “We just like working as a three piece. We don’t want anyone else in the band. Maybe down the track we’ll want a synth player, but at the moment we’re really happy with the way we’re working,” says Messenger.

Black Coral released the Big Nothing single a few weeks before the EP, where it reached number one on the Three D 20+1 Charts. Messenger can’t stress how valuable the local radio station is his band, and similarly less mainstream ones. “If it wasn’t for Three D, I don’t know how much we could be bothered making the music we do – it’s really one of the few outlets in Adelaide if you’re recording music. It’s also the best station to listen to really if you’re into indie rock [or] alternative music,” he says.

Messenger says the great PA and stage aren’t the only reasons they chose the Crown & Anchor to launch the EP. “Matt mixes at the Cranka, so he doesn’t have to get a night off work to do a gig – he just mixes then jumps up on stage to play bass,” he laughs.

Despite Big Nothing being hot off the press the band are already planning the follow up, with Messenger saying they’re ready to hit the studio again in the next few months. “We were thinking of making a big album, but thought it was easier to chuck it into two pieces. Even now we’re coming up with new songs, so we’ve got lots of material,” he says.

Black Coral launch Big Nothing at the Crown & Anchor on Saturday August 29 with The Dunes and It’s a Hoax - Rip It Up

"Black Coral / The Dunes, Crown and Anchor Hotel"

Adelaide has a great psychedelic rock scene with a myriad of great bands. The Dunes and Black Coral are just two of those bands, and together they shared the bill for a free-entry show at Crown & Anchor for the launch of Black Coral's big nothing EP.

Black Coral are a real musician's band. Every element is honed to be exact. Their songs are played with clockwork precision with the ruthless intention of being on point. Black Coral are spiritual torchbearers to Joy Division, from the never-ending, relentless basslines to the array of surgically executed 4/4 drum beats, plus the dissonant guitar riffs and great big enveloping vocals; it's certainly extremely intriguing to see a band implement these elements with such uncanny familiarity. Of course coming with it are the emotional ties of dreary post-punk. Watching Black Coral certainly evokes a sense of longing combined with a misery-filled yearning, which is surely how those listening to Unknown Pleasures in the late '70s felt. That said, Black Coral are far more unrelenting in their rock sensibility. Their tempo is always quite fast and sustained. By this point it's well after midnight and there's a near-full room of people still dancing to the sounds of Black Coral. They're the kind of band that make you feel sad, but you're kind of happy about it! -

"Black Coral making post-punk waves"

Black Coral‘s wall of sound is standing tall on the Adelaide scene right now. Off the back of their superb debut EP Taken – which is currently available for free download – the post-punk trio have built quite a following, and are definitely something to look out for in 2014.

Frontman Ian Messenger took Streetcast inside the EP sessions and filled us in on what’s next for the band. - Radio Adelaide

"Getting baked with Ian Messenger of Black Coral"

Interview and Review by Ian Hooper

Big-ass walls of brooding post-punk sound. How does that tickle you? Well, if it does then you should try getting into Black Coral. They are out and about and ready to blow away your sensibilities while leaving your morality intact. I got the chance to chat to Ian Messenger (guitar/vox) and received some stunning feedback. Read forth and experience an interview/review of their latest EP to get some lyrical and personal insight into a dark horse of Adelaide’s music scene that makes space look like a technicolour dreamcoat. - Bakehouse

"New Music in Adelaide"

Built on a foundation of textured synth and hazy vocals, Openings is the band’s latest offering in a string of annual releases from Black Coral since 2013. Poetic lyrics punctuate the six-minute track, emphasised by dark undertones and atmospheric harmonies. - Rip It Up


Still working on that hot first release.



Black Coral was formed in June 2012 to create like-minded alternative music that promotes creative thinking in lyrics, rhythms, guitars and beats. 

Collectively they draw motivation from a range of bands and artists, such as Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Queens of the Stone Age, DIIV, Tame Impala, TV on the Radio, Soft Moon, The Horrors, Eagulls, The Smiths, Black Marble, The Cure, Dinosaur Jnr and Wooden Shjips (plus many others). 

Their music is a modern sound that translates across poetic fields of colour and darkness. Black Coral display dark, vivid lyrics through a platform of atmospheric guitar, bass driven harmonies, astound rock beats and textured synth. 

Ian Messenger:  guitar and vocals

Heath Newberry:  drums

Matt Hills:  bass 

Brett Walter:  guitar and synth

Band Members