Hockey Dad - Blend Inn - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Hockey Dad - Blend Inn

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2018-02-09
Hockey Dad - Blend Inn
Hockey Dad - Blend Inn

Another rock band from Australia? Well, this surf-rock purveying duo don’t just make up the numbers on the growing list. Flexing melodies and blending their punk influences in, Blend Inn comes only two years after their debut, impressing with the speed of their follow-up as well as the step up in quality.

Zach Stephenson and William Fleming appear to add a little chill to the frenetic surf-punk rock canon with this album, but you wouldn’t know that this is an Aussie band until you hit the one Fleming-sung track ‘Sweet Release’ as he almost draws the lines out with his accent. It’s a testament to their adaptation of a typically American genre - possibly helped by their recording the album in Seattle.

Most songs fall into one of two categories: the peppy and the serene. While both these gears show of something of the band’s skill, it’s in the former that they play their best stuff. ‘Homely Feeling’ has a snarling riff held on a leash, reminiscent of Dinosaur Pile-Up’s work, while ‘Join The Club’ has more indie feel, rattling out an ironic list of things we feel we should do to be validated by others.

The songs firmly in the “serene” camp, like the sleepily strummed ‘Whatever’ have their place firmly on the beach, care-free but tainted with a sense of listlessness and a lack of personal direction. ‘Danny’, likewise, has an undercurrent of sadness to the hollowed out strums.

There are few occasions on the album where you’re struck with a feeling that there is something here you need. In truth, FIDLAR went into this area full-throttle, worrying less about style and perception and more about creating their own story. There aren’t enough hooks or lyrical tenacity to this album.

Certainly there are standout tracks, and you won’t struggle to find time for repeat listens of Blend Inn, but come the close of 2018, you might have forgotten about Hockey Dad. Kudos to them for The Simpsons reference though.

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