Melbourne band Cordrazine had its genesis in a partnership formed by singer/songwriter Hamish Cowan and Chris Ambrose in 1995. Cowan’s previous band, Blindside, comprised Nick Betterham (guitar, vocals; a member of The Earthmen), Chris Smith (bass), who was replaced by Matt Sigley (also an Earthmen member) and Nick Peeters. Blindside issued two EPs, ‘Endless’ (1992) and ‘Idle Eyes’ (1993), an album, Hope Rises (1993), and a single, ‘Anvil’ (1994) before breaking up.
Rowan Heddle joined Cowan and Ambrose midway through 1996 to complete the original Cordrazine line-up. Heddle’s mate, Sam Holloway joined on keyboards at the end of the year, in order to fill out the sound. The band played to enthusiastic crowds around the local pub scene, signing a deal with the independent Rubber label (home to Even and The Bo-Weevils).
The band’s debut CD EP, ‘Time to Leave’ (May 1997), featuring the track ‘Crazy’, sold well enough to register #41 on the national mainstream chart. The CD single ‘Clearlight’ followed in August. ‘Crazy’ logged the #17 placement on the 1997 Triple J Hottest 100 list. The new CD single, ‘Memorial Drive’ (February 1998), preceded the release of the acclaimed, debut album, From Here to Wherever (April). Producer by Nigel Derricks, the album was strong enough to make its debut at #9 on the national chart. Comparisons abounded, with everyone from Jeff Buckley and The Tea Party, to The Beatles and The Smiths being mentioned when critics discussed Cowan’s songwriting skills and the album’s strengths. As well as including a reworking of ‘Crazy’, the initial pressing came with the bonus CD single, ‘Clearlight’.
Cordrazine contributed a cover of the Hal David/Burt Bacharach song ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head’ to the all-Australian To Hal and Bacharach tribute album on WEA (April 1998). Further success seemed likely for the band, but Cordrazine broke up in November, due to the age old ‘musical differences’. Sam Holloway joined the touring line-up of silverchair in early 1999.