Artist – Hockey Dad
Title – Brain Candy
Label – BMG
Rating – 8/10
Words By – Josh Abraham
Australian duo, Hockey Dad, have always been a dominant figure in Australia’s DIY music scene since the release of their debut E.P Dreamin’ in 2014 and now six years later the two best friends have stumbled across releasing their third album that puts all the missing feels of rock back into the lives of the listeners.
Zach Stephenson (Vocals/Guitars) and Billy Flemming (Drums) met in the early stages of childhood, but have kept a strong connection going that goes beyond the music as the vocalist even exclaims that he has been using these new tracks as a learning experience for life and not just music. Using those experiences has led to them from performing at their local venues to playing world renown stages like SXSW and The Great Escape Festival and it’s why those experiences have helped shape them into the band they are today.
As the listener rides through the thirteen-track album it’s clear to see the duo have collected a number of different inspirations and mixed in their own sound. Guitar riffs raging throughout the project are just the duo’s way of showing off as the vocals collide perfectly with the galloping guitar strums. But then again, this isn’t a surprise to hear the raging guitar elements in the first six tracks as the pair did perform at Leeds and Reading Festival so they know how to perform, but also how to impress.
Even as the album gets to the midpoint where it’s slightly calmer, the guitar influence is heavy alongside the emotional rollercoaster of open lyricism
Even as the album gets to the midpoint where it’s slightly calmer, the guitar influence is heavy alongside the emotional rollercoaster of open lyricism. However, tracks like ‘Milk In The Sun’ are more featured for the duo to have some fun and experiment as it’s a different sound to the others, not too different, but less of the raging riffs and more of the slow paced experimental path that allows for this one to be a favourite for many.
Even though the duo came up with the band’s name after watching The Simpsons and jamming together constantly, they haven’t lost themselves in becoming bigger and bigger in the music world. Vocalist, Zach, even reflects on how they did certain things wrong in previous releases, which just goes to show how important these guys are to the music scene.
Tracks like ‘In This State’, ‘Nestle Down’ and ‘Dole Brother’ are full of electrifying guitar solo’s and laid-back vocals where it’s obvious how good these would be good live. In fact, the entire album shows off elements of how good these tracks would be whilst back in a live music venue.
They’ve created something for everyone, whether it’s chilled out instrumentals or heavy-hitting riffs, this album has something for everyone
Even though the track ‘Keg’ is about having one person on your mind constantly, the pair still deliver a performance that is unique to them as the closing section of the album feels like the cooling down period of a gig where the duo would slow things down after rocking out too much.
‘Reno’ and ‘Looking Forward To The Change’ bring the soothing, yet calming instrumentals that allow for the feelings of being by the beach, yet they are the perfect conclusion to the album as it pulls off the restraints of constant hard rocking.
Hockey Dad has done it again, they’ve created something for everyone, whether it’s chilled out instrumentals or heavy-hitting riffs, this album has something for everyone.
Brain Candy is out now via BMG