Album Review: Hockey Dad-Dreamin’ EP

From the ages of around 7-15, I played the shit of some sports. Kickin’ dunks, shootin’ touchdowns, I was the motherfuckin’ king of sports. Every Saturday, I’d be over at Brookvale Oval, cheering for my team, the Sydney Swans. Shit, I’ve been all over Australia, watching my favourite teams kicking ass and taking names.

I guess this love of sport was in some part inspired by watching those dads on the side of pitch. Yelling, screaming, calling the ref of a under-10’s soccer match a, ‘Bloodthirsty Nazi on the warpath of childhood destruction’. Man, those were some inspirational days. Seeing bloated, weathered dads with beer bellies and shattered dreams trying to live through their uninterested kids. Could it be more bloody heart warming?

Well, yeah, obviously. That’s where the Gong’s Hockey Dad come in. They’re a band so good they’ve managed to climb out of the mire of Woolongong and become a fastened interest of Sydney punters, because that’s the dream. In all seriousness, they play a fuzzy garage-pop that piques interest like a poster of Optimus Prime gallantly riding a dinobot in a teaser shot for  Transformers 4.

Hockey Dad’s debut EP opens up with ‘Lull City’, and fuck me if that isn’t a scrubby footy match of a track. The guitar riffs bounce like a footy passed between the pre-pubescent teams’ finest, aka a muddy, fumbled and glorious mess of intertwined fuzzy riffery. There’s the cool little ‘Ooo’s in there that strongly resemble a Dune Rats track, and the whole track reeks of something to be moshed to inside of a pub, late on a Friday night.

The follow up song is a pop standout. ‘I Need A Woman’ is pretty much begging to become the next go-to track to make out song. Picture this: you’ve just finished up your Friday Night Lights marathon on the couch with your girlfriend, this song comes on, and Boom! the clothes are off by the second verse.

Moving on into the middle of the EP, and it’s ‘Beach House’, a frantic surfer tune, that was custom made by those guys in Vampire Weekend, whilst someone sanded down the nose on a sweet little 6’1″ Al Merrick. Yeah, I used to surf, it’s not a big deal or anything. But whilst the days of my tanned six-pack are behind me, ‘Beach House’ showcases Hockey Dad just breaching a form of crunching awesomeness.

‘Seaweed’ and ‘Babes’ finish the EP off with some steamy romanticism, or at least as much steamy romanticism that can leak through thundering drums and pinpoint garage rock. The finishes on these songs are especially glorious, just full-throttle sappy romantic things that are having the skin of their skulls peeled off due to the sheer velocity at which their being executed.

There’s been a slew of teenager bands in the past couple years, but only a few who have managed to do it right. SURES and Bleeding Knees Club have been the only bands, of recent memory, who’ve managed to achieve without falling into a trap of cliches and redundancy. Well, add Hockey Dad to that list as well. These tunes aren’t going to be forgotten any time soon. The songs of the ‘Dreamin’ EP are memorable, well done, and best of all, shred total balls. Unlike those dads on the sideline, Hockey Dad are making the most of their youth, and don’t plan on being wankers in polo shirts yelling obscenities on the Saturday morning.

Hockey Dad’s EP comes out on June 27. Don’t be a bloody drongo, and pre-order it here:

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