Jul 31, 2020
Mind Sweet is greater than a zombie’s midnight snack—it’s the sweetness of gaining information, caramelized and punctiliously introduced in a scrumptious platter of surf-rock with silky ’90s pop punk notes. This is strictly the dessert that Hockey Dad serves up on their third LP, Mind Sweet. On Mind Sweet, the band experiments extra, albeit solely barely, by but once more bringing in producer John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Wolf Parade) to assist chef up some simply digestible tunes, infused this time with only a bit extra dynamics than earlier efforts. And this new recipe works of their favor—so I implore you to take a chew.
Normally, Hockey Dad’s sound is nearly seamless. This easy union may be as a result of two members having recognized one another earlier than they even understood object permanence. On the coast of Windang, Australia, bandmates Zach Stephenson (vocals, guitar) and Billy Fleming (drums) grew up solely two doorways down from one another on Boronia Ave—the road can be the identify of their debut album. Assembly on the important age of three and 4, the 2 grew to become shut mates and eventual bandmates. And no, they’re not sick of one another but—twenty years so good.
Mind Sweet kicks off with Stephenson pleading: “I wanna fill an area in your mind/I wanna take up some actual property.” Usually, his songwriting mimics this way: a direct enchantment or confession behind fiery guitars and commanding drums. “I Missed Out” follows properly because the duo appears to really feel some form of FOMO of not residing a “regular” life: “However I missed each second/And I missed out on us,” Stephenson concedes. Quickly the facility chord hungry tune “Good Eye” finds Stephenson seeing by way of facades. At first the track appears to comply with the momentum of the opposite tracks, however then transitions to a quick, however noticeable, acoustic second, which paradoxically is one in all extra sinister traces of the observe: “I obtained the stand within the background cheering/They know I’ll come by way of on a regular basis/I’ll choose a winner don’t you are concerned/And ship it on its means.” Every of those tracks appear to manage some new perception: you’ll be able to’t repair somebody who wants fixing; I ought to’ve been extra current; I do know your recreation—it’s intelligent, with out being too difficult or sorrowful. It’s Mind Sweet—a tasteful instruction.
However, whereas all the tracks are pleasing to a point or one other, solely few are significantly memorable. The refrain on “Germaphobe” is chanty, however loses its magic after the third time round. “Milk within the Solar” has some cutesy harmonies however the recommendation of “Don’t go away your milk within the solar,” comes off extra juvenile than comical. “Keg,” nevertheless, is a pleasant change of tempo because it brings in a extra surfy, virtually nation twang riff. As one of many slower tracks of the rhythm you may suspect it to be a filler of types, however it frames Hockey Dad as greater than only a one-trick pony. However, “Itch” remains to be the shining star of the album. The band has even admitted it’s “probably the most non-Hockey Dad track [they’ve] ever written.” With a Radiohead-type melody, circulating riffs finally construct up to a whole full band break down. “I’m okay,” Stephenson admits. It’s like a transcendental horror movie: Stephenson is aware of somebody is beneath his pores and skin, however in some way he feels empowered by it. He finds peace along with his uncomfort.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: there are plenty of bands that sound like Hockey Dad. Vista Kicks, Catfish and the Bottleman, Dangerous Suns, Hippo Campus. However Stephenson and Flemming are extra knotty—they usually have a lot room to develop. As a band that named themselves after a online game that Bart and Milhouse play on The Simpsons, there’s a real eagerness, an informal goofiness, and a few unruly power that makes the band all of the extra endearing. They’re simply two dudes making music. And what? It form of guidelines. (www.hockeydadband.com)
Writer score: 6.5/10