I worry about records that are described as “totally different from their old stuff.” Like, I get that bands change over time. I just almost always like the old stuff, goddamnit. It was with this hesitation that I went into listening to this new Dads EP. Every review I’ve seen focuses on how different this is. But, to be honest, the hype was mostly just hype.
Pretty Good generally plays as a logical follow up to American Radass (this is important). Both “Boat Rich” and “Can I be Yr Deadbeat Boyfriend” sound like they could have been off the previous LP. The latter sharing a very similar sound to “Groin Twerk.” This isn’t a bad thing at all. It was nice to have some familiarity. Noting that there are some very similar things on this record doesn’t mean they didn’t try to change some things up. Where they did something different really fucking worked.
“My Crass Patch” opens the album with a more post-hardcore sound. “No, We’re Not Actually” closes it in a similar way. It is jarring at first, but very welcome. The latter starts very calm, and builds about midway through. It brings the record around full circle. It’s great to see how they worked that stuff in there. It sounds great, especially for a two-piece. They really knocked it out of the park.
This record has a hell of a lot to like. I don’t want to come across as being down on this. Pretty Good is a great addition to any collection. It adeptly walks the line between emo and more traditional post-hardcore. Get into it.
Here are the best records of the year. Not much label diversity here, but that is just how it goes sometimes.
1) Joie De Vivre – We’re All Better Than This (Count Your Lucky Stars)
2) Dowsing – It’s Still Pretty Terrible (Count Your Lucky Stars)
3) Dikembe – Broad Shoulders (Tiny Engines)
4) Dads – American Radass (this is important) (Flannel Gurl)
5) State Faults – Desolate Peaks (Tiny Engines)
6) Best Practices – The EP LP (Tiny Engines)
7) Suis La Lune – Riala (Topshelf)
8) You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude (Topshelf)
9) Beach House – Bloom (Sub Pop)
10) The Dandelion War – We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes (Deep Elm)
If you remove some of the goofier parts from their overall aesthetic, Dads is a band that is fucking killing it. In spite of the wacky song/album titles and goofy cover art, what you have is a band that is the best at what they do. Some great stuff has already come out this year, especially within the punk/emo thing, and Dads is right there near the top.
American Radass (this is important) is a hell of a record. While there are some slower moments on it, the lion’s share of this album blows past you in no time at all. Dads is able to maintain the momentum, which is especially notable since the is a seven minute song right in the middle of it all. Said seven minute song, “Shit Twins,” might be the strongest song on the whole damn thing. It is a song that just keeps building upon itself until the end.
I complain about album sequencing nigh constantly. This record doesn’t have that problem. Album opener “If Your Song Title Has The Word “Beach” In It, I’m Not Listening To It” flows almost perfectly into “Get To The Beach.” That is generally true for the record as a whole. Everything flows together like crazy. As far as the other technical stuff, the record sounds great too. Clean enough to show off the melodic/twinkly stuff, and dirty enough to play up the straight up punk stuff.
For the boring “recommended if you like” part, this is a no brainer for folks who are still upset about Snowing not being a thing (or are super bummed about Algernon Cadwallader). This is an emo record that can absolutely appeal to anyone who is stoked on punk rock. Get into it.
Stream It (BandCamp)
Flannel Gurl Records
Broken World MediaBuy It (vinyl)
Buy It (cassette)