Oliver's Army
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Oliver's Army

Sunbury, Victoria, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Sunbury, Victoria, Australia
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Americana




"Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same"

AN INTERESTING debut album from this band from Adelaide, now based in Melbourne, with folk and alt country flavours and a stirring rock pulse to songs such as the title tune, which opens out from rumbling bass and piano to searing electric guitar break. Hilary, Come On Home has more of a country-rock backwoods flavour with its harmonica and sweet harmony vocals; Riddles is a sunny, wind-in-your-hair kind of song, even if singer Ryan Oliver is struggling with another freezing winter’s day.

These tunes have a way of gently sneaking up on you, like the easy, backporch folk-rock of Cradle of Wood and the silky groove of Ghost. But Olivers Army have some surprises in store, the Paul Simon-esque melancholy of Let Her Go and the sublime NYC, with vocals shared between Oliver and keyboard player Gina Somfleth. This and Liquor Store are pop-rock treats that reveal the depth in a band with songs that tend to the wistful … but with a sting in the tail.

Noel Mengel - Courier Mail Brisbane

"Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same"

The bleak and wistful title of Oliver’s Army’s debut album acts as a warning sign for its listeners: you’re not in for an uplifting experience here. Singer/songwriter Ryan Oliver explores themes of loneliness, loss and resignation to pessimism while flirting with varying genres across the vast space of the record. Despite the slow, measured pace of every song, Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same feels like somewhat of a break-neck musical journey. It’s full of sharp turns – into country (most notably on Hilary, Come On Home and Cradle of Wood), suave indie rock (Born To Breed and Arms Around Your Lover) and folksy chamber pop (Riddles). As a whole, however, this is an album that is tied together by its musical and lyrical melancholy. Even the most come-hither and beat-driven tracks still sound brooding and hushed, thanks to some gorgeous production and sparse, twinkling instrumentation.

Ryan Oliver laments and sighs from the opening title track all the way to the closer Lonesome Man, with universally accessible sentiments scattered throughout his lyrics. Don’t let the band’s name fool you – this is a highly introspective and personal record, rather than an analysis of broader social issues a la Elvis Costello. The album has the feel of the kind of thing you’d listen to after your very first big breakup, just as you were starting to explore alternative music and consume media that lay slightly off the beaten track. Arms Around Your Lover is far and away the standout, the thematic cousin of songs such as the Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women, featuring a wonderfully crunchy guitar solo and spirited, coltish piano.

Fans of Boy & Bear and other such indie folk-rock acts will adore this album, dubbed “Ameri-straliana rock” by its makers. Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same is a quintessential down-in-the-dumps effort, the perfect complement to broken hearts and glasses of single-malt whiskey. Unfortunately, Oliver’s Army have already completed their tour for the year, so you won’t be able to catch them live any time in the near future – but keep your eyes and ears open for new developments in 2015.

Elizabeth Ansley - Blank Gold Coast

"Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same"

A generously diverse debut album from Olivers Army will have you slow dancing to radiating joy from their uplifting tracks – appreciation from folk to alternative rock.

Hailing from humble Barossa Valley in Melbourne, the sound produced by indie folk singers Ryan Oliver and Sam Walsh, guitarist Gina Somfleth, pianist Tom Krieg, and bassist/ drummer James Roberts combined together is addictive, haunting, and ridiculously comforting. I got the warm and fuzzies big time people. And that’s coming from the girl who is going through a strong heavy metal stage at the moment (it’s been a long year, what can I say).

Olivers Army, although conveying frustration and sadness in places, carries a lovely nostalgia through their music with uplifting tones of warmth, safety, and hope. And it feels good, like a little dose of musical therapy. Just listen to them and rejoice, you’ll get it. The band also has a few releases under their belt, including the Olivers Army EP2009, Olivers Army album in 2011, The Golden Tree single in 2013, and their most recent album release (August of this year) Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same. They are burning through a range of genres in this album – bits of rock, alternative, folk, and I swear even bluegrass manage to make their way to the forefront. Yet all are intertwined with the same eerie and calm sound they’ve successfully established throughout the piece.

Sung drearily by the lonely and deliberately slow paced Ryan Oliver, Let Her Go is a song that caught my attention on the new album. Lacking the repetition of a chorus to sing a long to, this song was a bit weird at first for me to get on board with but overall Let Her Go takes you on a journey of lost love and twinkling piano riffs. Albeit a long journey, it’s still quite a lovely one none the less.

Meanwhile songs like Lonesome Man, Cradle of Wood, and Hilary, Come On Home, take a sharp left turn in the album by seriously delving into the realm of plucky, sturdy, and gritty good ol’ country. It’s wonderful. With a sneaky harmonica snaking its way through all pieces and a strong and healthy guitar riff thronging it out in the foreground, all songs are grounded yet undeniably catchy as hell in their own unique ways. Especially when you take a step back and look at the album as a whole – you can’t be disappointed, not even a little, by the variety in sound and style it has to offer.

Needless to say Olivers Army are chill, on chill, pretty much on ice at the moment. With their familiar soft and creaky vocals, all around good vibes, and country dabbling ways, Olivers Army is a band you should definitely fight for. Want to enlist? (Disclaimer: Not actual army. Actually, musical revelation). - Hhhhappy

"Olivers Army II Review"

Artistically spliced together on the sleeve of their debut release, the two gentlemen that make up Oliver’s Army (Barossa twins Ryan and Todd Oliver) appear to resemble a fusion of Ben Lee and Josh Thomas! Whether or not this visual prospect appeals to you, dear reader, let me hasten to add that some outstanding music awaits anyone wise enough to purchase this excellent EP...

A brief, wordless, ominous-yet-enticing intro takes up the first track out of 7 here, and though this could be seen as an easy way to make the EP seem longer than it is (for the benefit of consumers who assume that ‘more’ will equal ‘better’, or at least ‘better value’), it would be picking the tiniest nit to complain about such a minor point; the music is what matters, and it is very fine indeed!

Oliver’s Army demonstrates with the first song here (My Friend, I Feel the Same) that they have the potential to reach the same level of achievement and acclaim as Neil Finn (whom the brothers list as an influence); the song-writing, singing, playing and production here are all that good! The shifts in dynamics are brilliantly handled, the vocals are pitched at the perfect level of sincere-yet-restrained yearning, and the musical atmosphere is akin to floating in a familiar-yet-exciting place...and when the driving drums and guitars kick in, the song blasts right up to 11 then drifts back down again; a most exhilarating opening number.

Help Me Find My Way is a gently skipping, optimistic tune that is dynamic-yet-subtle, and even if not one of the most memorable moments here, it still provides plenty of pleasure; Who Do I Turn To is an acoustic shuffle with earthy vocal harmonies, delivered with a feel that is casual-yet-polished, as well as an engaging structure which gives the song, essentially modest like most of the music here, a barely-noticeable-but-undeniable epic feel that is highly impressive.

I Have Everything opens forcefully and compellingly, then shifts into a rather gorgeously ethereal mood, generated partly by shrewdly comforting lyrics and partly through achingly pretty guitar textures...The following track, entitled Make Me a Bird, achieves a similar level of spiritual yearning, but the closing number, Mother Nature, is one of the more upbeat, straightforward and musically conventional ‘pop’ moments on this collection – that is, until the tempo changes and the song spectacularly transforms into a rousing choral sing-along that concludes the set perfectly.

Ryan and Todd Oliver fully deserve to rise to the top of the pack of fellow musical acts working in a similar style (and let me also say that they come close to matching the excellence of another of their esteemed influences, Irish musician Damien Rice). The innate quality and accessibility of their material, combined with the subtlety and intelligence of their presentation and delivery, makes Oliver’s Army winners in my book, the sort of act that Australian music needs and should be most proud of!
- Music SA

"Spotlight on Olivers Army"

The occurrence of two family members making music together is so common now that it’s hardly worth mentioning. It just seems to make sense. The comfort, honesty and mutual understanding that underpin a close sibling relationship create the perfect environment for inspired music to be made. Musical twins, a less common but not unheard-of occurrence, could only experience similar and amplified benefits. Ryan and Todd Oliver, the twins of Olivers Army from the Barossa Valley wine region north of Adelaide seem to exemplify this assumption with their small collection of memorable, chorus driven songs which they describe as “Alternative Atmospheric Folk Rock”.

The brothers enjoyed a rich wave of hype last year, playing some great gigs in Adelaide, getting some radio airplay and having three songs in the top ten of Triple J’s unearthed charts at once. A lengthy hiatus this year has seen that hype dwindle somewhat, but as of last weekend, the guys are back on stage with a bunch of new songs and a full band with new members Adrian Plevin and James Pounsett from Jupiter Lead and Ryan Hutcheson from The Temps.

With their new EP being launched at the Governor Hindmarsh venue next February, Olivers Army have a lot of work to do to get their names back on the lips of local punters. Boasting a sound from which parallels can be drawn to that of Coldplay (but with a distinctly Australian, Powderfinger-like structure and vibe), they have every chance of experiencing some more national exposure with the upcoming EP.

The clip below is of Ryan and Todd performing “Help Me Find My Way” live in the Radio Adelaide studio, and filmed by Ryan Polei, whose collection of live Adelaide music videos is well worth checking out.
- Timber and Steel (Blogging Website)

"2009 Self Titled EP Review"

"I would stare at the sky and think of you, remember the way I died, Left the earth and forgot who I was, I may have missed my chance, and we sit by and wonder why..."

And thus begins Oliver’s Army’s release, moody and foreboding without coming across as being desperate or self indulgent. It was a real treat to sit down and listen to this EP, as twin brothers Ryan and Todd Oliver have written and recorded a very accomplished, fresh work that insists on repeat listens.

Who do they sound like? The comparisons are easily there to be made, each with their own unique twist though, Coldplay with muscles or Jack White with a broken heart? Regardless of whom Oliver’s Army influences may be, they have definitely got a sound, and a bloody good one at that.

Oliver’s Army haven’t been on the scene that long, but since mid 2009 have been steadily building an adoring fan base helped by playing alongside other local acts, The Shiny Brights, The Battery Kids, Jay Walker and the Pedestrians and The Temps.

The two brothers who hail from the Barossa self deprecatingly describe their music as: "Oliver's Army don’t boast that our music will change the world, we just hope that someday it will be that source of inspiration for someone, somewhere. Whether it gets you through a breakup, or helps you study for an exam, or brightens your day walking through a park with headphones on. Even as simple as a song being stuck in your head whilst you annoy all those around you with your tone-deaf humming (or angelic chorusing depending on the individual). That’s what we aim to achieve at the moment, until further notice."

After reviewing this EP, I think it’s safe to say that the Oliver Boys should adjust their ambitions somewhat as its clear from the first listen that the potential for this talented duo is unmistakable.

The EP kicks off with “WHY”, a nostalgic rock/pop ballad with undercurrents of longing and misunderstanding; it’s a great opening track that seems to totally encapsulate the sound of Oliver’s Army. Driving beats, catchy hooks, pining vocals and atmospheric guitar solos. Indeed it’s this atmosphere that appears to be the Oliver brothers' strength, with each song on the EP giving you more to digest than just the 3:00 minute sameness that a lot of bands offer up these days.

“Fade Away” is the next track to follow and offers up much of the same as “WHY”, a temperamental opening complete with rain and thunder effects leading into an edgy tune punctuated by a rocking guitar solo.

At this stage, you begin to wonder if Oliver’s Army has any other tricks up its sleeve and thankfully when the next track “Sophie” starts to play, the Oliver’s lay their Ace on the table. This song screams Jack White, from the distortion vocals to the minimalist instrumentation and screeching guitars, it’s catchy and it’s cool and a welcome variant to the rest of the album. The EP is rounded off by the very charming “There you are” a tasteful and sweet melody that concludes the album perfectly.

Unfortunately you can’t catch Oliver’s Army any time soon as they are working on a new recording. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this EP, you will definitely not be disappointed.
- Music SA


Move over Human Nature and Susan Boyle, because a string of South Australian artists have put together their own Christmas record.

There’s nothing more festive than a hastily assembled Christmas themed covers album, Adelaide expats Olivers Army, Tom West and Todd Sibbin have teamed up to reimagine a handful of yuletide classics. Covering an eclectic range of tracks, from ubiquitous supermarket staple Mariah Carey to Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano.

"Working a retail day job I was getting fed up with electro-disco-pop remixes of classic christmas carols, so I thought, hey, I've got a lot of talented friends, why don't we just make a little free download for christmas as an alternative?" Oliver told us.

It's been a big year for Olivers Army, with the band finally releasing their debut LP Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same - their first major release since Barossa Valley-raised frontman Ryan Oliver relocated to Melbourne from Adelaide. He's reunited with his hometown friends and frequent collaborators to throw together this off-the-cuff release.

While Melbourne's The Lovelies' Santa-inspired medley of The Ramones’ punk classics Blitzkrieg Bop and Sheena Is A Punk Rocker is appropriately bonkers, Adelaide banjo plucker Todd Sibbin delivers a real highlight in his hushed, aching rendition of White Christmas, the holiday standard made famous by Bing Crosby. - Rip It Up


'Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same' 2014

'II' 2012

'Oliver's Army EP' 2010



After building a successful following in their hometown of Adelaide and securing supports for the likes of Big Scary, Deep Sea Arcade, Eagle and the Worm and Diesel amongst others, Olivers Army return with the first singles 'Born to Breed' and 'Liquor Store' from their debut album released in late 2014. After relocating from Adelaide to Melbourne in 2013, lead singer-songwriter Ryan Oliver assembled a new lineup and has been rapidly gaining followers and admirers around Melbourne with their energetic live show and cleverly crafted songwriting. The release of their Americana and Indie inspired album will see them taking their show on the road around Australia and the USA. 

Band Members