Hockey Dad was founded in 2013 in New South Wales, Australia and have been on the climb to success ever since. The duo, Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming, have know each other since 1999 and thank goodness for that because these guys are absolutely incredible. They have previously released an EP, Dreamin’, in 2014 and an album, Boronia, in 2016.
But we’re not here to talk about those releases. We’re here to talk about their latest release, Blend Inn – this album is an absolute banger. Blend Inn has already broken the top 10 on the Australian Recording Industry Association’s Australian Top 50 Albums, which is a feat in itself. But cracking the charts this high with only their second studio album is a testament to Hockey Dad’s ability.
Hockey Dad seems to hone in on their own specific sound, diverging from straight surf rock by adding in a heavier, more aggressive style by mixing it with post-punk elements. According to Fleming, the title of the album is supposed to represent the mental one goes to when they want to be comfortable and zone out. This is well represented within the lyricism as it developed into a serious, introspective and philosophical entity, in contrast to their lighthearted lyricism in their preceding projects.
Blend Inn welcomes us with “My Stride”, an introspective piece with a warm, fuzzy guitar introduction that immediately opens up the door to another dimension, allowing you to lose yourself in that headspace mentioned by Fleming. As soon as your step through the doorway, the door slams right behind you, and it’s too late to turn back as you WILL get lost in Blend Inn. The album will take you through heavy hitting, gritty adventures, like “Homely Feeling”, “Join The Club”, and “Running”, as well as hazy, disorienting wandering trips, like “Danny”, “Whatever”, and “Eggshells”, in a perfectly crafted journey that makes it an incredible record to put on whenever you need to just escape the shackles of everyday life.
TL;DR – Blend Inn is an exceptionally crafted album, tailored to take you on a unique, compelling journey into the unknown and completely remove you from this plane of existence for its’ entirety. 10/10 definitely check into Blend Inn.
Blend Inn is out now on Kanine Records
By Luis Rodriguez // Speaker of the House