ALBUM REVIEW: Hockey Dad – Brain Candy

Release Date: July 31st 2020
Label: Farmer & The Owl


When it comes to the alt rock, Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming (the duo that make up Australian rock outfit Hockey Dad), are a breath of fresh air. Living a sunshine surf/skate lifestyle, they are as playful and fun as the band’s latest record, ‘Brain Candy’.

The album opens to a grungy garage rock guitar riff with ‘In This State’, a song which is fast and punchy with just a touch of angst. It sets the rock ‘n’ roll back bone of the record, and is one of the more serious sounding tracks on ‘Brain Candy’, and though the tone may not be carried through the album, the energy of it is.

Injecting some summertime silliness, ‘Milk In The Sun’ is relaxing with a playful drum beat throughout. “Don’t leave your milk, in the sun, sun, sun” is a light-hearted and vibrate lyric that perfectly encapsulates the youthful fun in the sun attitude of Hockey Dad. That fun approach to word repetition in the chorus continues in other tracks like ‘Germaphobe’, and makes ‘Brain Candy’ very enjoyable to sing along to.

Whilst the music remains light, there are often times in which the duo introduce heavier sections that demonstrate their talents, ‘Heavy Assault’ is a great example of Stephenson‘s ability with some powerful guitar elements. ‘Nestle Down’ has a drum beat that is fast and changes up frequently, putting Fleming‘s skills at the core of the track.

‘Looking Forward To The Change’ slows things right at the end of the album, giving what is a very upbeat record a sort of reflective ending, which feels very fitting with the feeling of the end of a joyful summer.

The young and carefree feeling of listening to ‘Brain Candy’ is a wonderful thing, and the enjoyment Hockey Dad gets from playing music together is felt in every song. Taking elements of garage, indie, punk, and pop, ‘Brain Candy’ doesn’t take itself too seriously, even if there is clearly a serious amount of work put into it.