By Kieran Webber
The Australian duo consisting of Zach Stephenson (guitars/vocals) and Billy Fleming (drums) have been friends since the early ages of 4. Living two doors down on Boronia Street in the small Australian coastal town of Windang, it was around 13 when they discovered Zach’s Dad’s old gear in his garage and about 15 when they started sneaking into local music venue RAD BAR and playing other bands’ instruments while they were not around. By 18, they were touring Australia under the name Hockey Dad, which was gleaned from a Simpsons episode.
Now the band have released their debut album ‘Boronia’ an 11 track belter that is surf-rock at its best, it has everything you would expect from a band that dabbles in this genre from the rustic and simple riffs and prevalent percussion. However, Hockey Dad are not your run of the mill surf-rock garage band there is one element of their music that separates them from their peers and that is their natural skill in songwriting.
The band have been very open in how bands like The Arctic Monkeys have influenced them and this is very clear in regards to their songwriting, like The Arctic Monkeys they have perfected the emotive yet infectious rock song and deliver it with a brash confidence.
The explosive opening of ‘Can’t Have Them’ sets the tone for most of the album, emotive and heart wrenching lyrical content conveyed through an array of hook laden riffs and deep percussion, this tone is particularly prevalent in ‘A Night Out With’ and ‘So Tired’.
The album as a whole will resonate with almost everyone due to its lyrical content that spans across frustration, love, angst and heartache but through all the lyrical content and infectious riffs the closing track ‘Grange’ a purely instrumental track that acts as the perfect finish. It takes you on a journey of emotions without even suggesting what it is portraying, the clash of cymbals and sonic reverb that dance around a belter of a riff leaving the listener wanting more.