Release Date: Aug 12, 2016
Record label: Kanine Records
If you follow my writing on here (Hi, Mom!) then you'll probably know that I have been pretty big on Hockey Dad for quite some time now. I plugged the group's then-unannounced debut LP as one of the most anticipated of 2016 back in December 2015. When Boronia was finally announced in April, my only gripe was that I had to wait until August to hear it.
When we talk about surf pop, we talk about music that conjures images of the beach at dusk, long afternoons slicing waves, and late nights huddled around a bonfire. For guitarist Zach Stephenson and drummer Billy Fleming, these aren’t some abstract Californian ideals, but simply nostalgia for their own childhood growing up together in the small Australian coastal town of Windang. As Hockey Dad, named for a fleeting Simpsons reference, they’ve captured their own adolescence in wistful, low-key fashion.
Forget the British Invasion, because the Aussies have been untouchable in music as of recently. With acts such as Tame Impala, Sia, Courtney Barnett and others from down under slowly taking over alternative and mainstream radio, audiences and critics have been keeping a close read on Australia in hopes of discovering the country’s newest and hottest musical export. In comes Hockey Dad, a surf-rock duo comprised of lifelong friends Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming who know young summer angst better than anyone.
Amiable fuzz-pop duo Hockey Dad emerged in 2014, laying claim to summer's easy vibes with the five-song EP Dreamin'. A little bit cheerful, a little bit slacker, Dreamin' was filled with pleasantly rambunctious jams like "Babes," "Lull City," and "I Need a Woman," the latter of which also finds a home here on Boronia, their debut LP for Brooklyn indie Kanine Records. Hockey Dad (a somewhat obscure reference to a Simpsons episode) is the partnership of lifelong friends Zach Stephenson (guitar) and Billy Fleming (drums) who hail from the coastal Australian town of Windang in New South Wales.
In their videos, the Australian duo Hockey Dad are shown skateboarding, skinny dipping, surfing, playing video slot machines, drinking beer, and hanging out at a place called Windang Fast Chicken. A majority of the songs on their full-length debut, Boronia, are about pining for women who are way out of their league. Basically, they are a 2016 version of the Wyld Stallyns, if Bill and Ted had been hypnotized by surf rock instead of metal.