Words by Stefani Reynolds
Australian surf-rock duo Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming met when they were just four years old, and have spent the last fifteen+ years making music together in the surf-skate scene of Windang, Australia. Their lifelong friendship led to the formation of Hockey Dad in 2013, where they create catchy pop-punk masterpieces that seem to truly capture the essence of the small coastal town they grew up in.
Building upon their debut EP, Dreamin’, which was released in November of 2014, the duo came back bursting with an infectious energy on their first full length album, which is set to drop August 12th. Named after the street they grew up on, Boronia uses its endearingly youthful energy to transport listeners to the beach scene it was created around. These upbeat, “made-for-summer” songs are nearly impossible to get out of your head, and Stephenson’s unique, lighthearted vocals radiate through every song. Combine that with easygoing guitar melodies and a catchy drum beat, this album will keep you dreaming of those long summer days by the water, even after the snow has started to fall.
Full of feel-good sentimental songs, you’ll want to blast this album in its entirety as you set out to create your own legendary moments; all while the old school surf-rock vibes help you reminisce of your great summers passed. Songs like “Can’t Have Them” will help you escape whatever worries everyday life throws at you, and immediately brings you back to the adventurous, care free world of your youth. Following suit and right on par is their most recent single “Jump the Gun”, which is nothing short of what it exclaims throughout its verses: “too much fun”.
Contrary to its title, the lead single of the album, “So Tired”, is anything but. It will leave you fully energized and wanting more, and there is absolutely no disappointment in the songs to follow. The duo keeps it going with an assortment of fun, quirky songs that take you momentarily away from the beach and into the world of love and friendship. “Hunny Bunny” draws you in with a brilliant baseline and charming lyrics that are relatable to so many, and “Raygun” continues that trend with heavier distortion and out of this world sound effects that’ll stick in your head long after the last note.
Nearing the end of the album, the duo slows it down with “Two Forever”, a dream-like song with haunting vocals that serve as a quintessential reminder that even though there are times you have to leave the beach behind, the friendships you make there will stick with you forever. The melancholy melody is overpowered by hopeful lyrics of everlasting friendships “that run deeper than the ocean”, which is what the album really seems to be about in the end: great friends and good times.
That melancholy feeling doesn’t last long, though, as “Grange” closes out the album with an upbeat instrumental piece that brings back the carefree feeling that emanates through so much of the album. They leave their listeners with an extra little snippet at the end of the song: the two friends laughing as they put down their gear and walk away. The laughter is a perfect summation of what the entire album essentially feels like: two friends having fun and doing what they love, and it leaves listeners with a sense of completion. Almost as if somehow they had just gone on this mind-boggling adventure with two of their friends, and now it’s time to head out- until next time.
© August 12th, 2016
TheWaster.com | Australia