Here at Twin Cities Media the weekend isn’t over until we say it’s over, especially long weekends. The extended Thanksgiving weekend was a packed one around the Twin Cities. As we all slowly emerged from our turkey-induced comas, we made our way back out to the slew of shows happening around the cities. From A Perfect Circle at the Xcel Energy Center to Grieves in the Mainroom and everything in between, it’s safe to say it was a music-filled weekend.
On Sunday night- we closed out the long weekend with Sydney, Australia based two-piece, Hockey Dad. Though their name sounds more like something my dad had embroidered on a Champion crewneck sweatshirt in 1999 than a surf-punk Australian band – Hockey Dad felt right at home in Minneapolis on Sunday night
“Thanks for coming out, and early too,” bleach blonde drummer Billy Fleming said towards the beginning of their set. “I like this little room too,” he went on through a thick accent. Fleming in and of himself is a force to be reckoned with. Between chugging Tecates and other incoherent banter in between songs (incoherent because of the accent, not the beer), Fleming plays the drums and sings with a force and power beyond his 21 years.
It’s safe to say my love of Australian-bands borders on obsessive, which includes the party kings of Australia the Dune Rats and DZ Death Rays along with electronic musician/DJ/producer/ Flume. We also fell in love with fellow Australians Middle Kids this summer, also in the Entry There’s a laid-back, carefree, party hardy sound and energy these acts coming out of Australia have. And that vibe is contagious – the packed 7th Street Entry was dancing and moshing along to Hockey Dad through their short but sweet set.
“I like that little pit there in the middle,” guitarist/vocalist Zach Stephenson said. “Yeah, if I don’t see a circle pit open on this next one I’m gonna be really disappointed,” Fleming went on. And opened up the pit did. It’s not often you see a band get the sometimes stoic and awkward Minnesotan crowds going the way Hockey Dad did. But again – it’s that party-hardy, zero-f’s given vibe of Hockey Dad that demands you have a good time, no matter how midwestern and awkward you are.
Hockey Dad’s set included a slew of older songs as well as a few off their forthcoming Blend Inn album, due out sometime next year via Kanine Records. “We hope you like this next song, it’s a new one,” Fleming said. “But if you don’t I guess it doesn’t really matter because the albums are already pressed,” he went on. “Yeah, so if you buy it you can just skip this one,” Stephenson went on before launching into “Homely Feeling.”
Though Hockey Dad sites the likes of Band of Horses and Bass Drum of Death as their musical influences, there’s a very 60’s grunge vibe to their sound. Some of their newer material also draws comparison to fellow-duo – The Black Keys. It’s grungy and garagey at times, and at others polished and radio-ready.
Though this was one of Hockey Dad’s first US Tours, we expect plenty more from these two. They continue their tour with The Frights in Denver on Tuesday.