Australian duo Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming aka Hockey Dad have returned with their third album “BRAIN CANDY”. The record was produced in Seattle by John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Death Cab For Cutie) and mixed by Troy Glessner (Alice in Chains, The Blood Brothers, Foo Fighters)

“BRAIN CANDY” opens with “In This State” and this is power-Indie rock in the vein of Welsh legends The Stereophonics. I’m also reminded of another power pop band from Australia that I liked a lot in their day, Motor Ace. Driving fuzzy guitars and some great drum work, melodic versus and a soaring chorus, the stage is set for the whole record, or so it would seem.

“I Missed Out”, “Milk In The Sun” and “Good Eye” keep the tempo up until we get to the ironically titled “Germophobe” which brings the pace down a little, and then into the moody, broody “Itch” with it’s solidary finger-picking guitar beginnings, which then build and drop again before the drums and bass kick in. Reminding me so much of Radiohead, circa “The Bends”, for me, this is the standout track on the album, love it!

The dirty sounding “Heavy Assault” starts to pick it all back up again. “Nestle Down”, “Tell Me What You Want”, “Dole Brother” and it’s back to that scuzzed up power pop that’s started us off on this trip. “Keg” slides off in a different direction, with an almost country style twanging guitar and a lot cleaner sound and is carried along beautifully by the melodic vocals and harmonies. “Reno” carries on with the sparser cleaner vibe and a chorus that wouldn’t be amiss on a Tame Impala record. “Looking Forward” finished the record and to be honest the record now feels a lot different at the end to the record it was at the beginning.

Overall, ‘ Brain Candy’ is a very good record; more assured, more mature and accomplished than their first two outings, but every now and then I missed that surf punk, raw garage indie quirkiness of those early records. Hockey Dad Australia’s next big export??? Maybe!!


Brain Candy Track List

1 – In This State

2 – I Missed Out

3 – Milk In The Sun

4 – Good Eye

5 – Germaphobe

6 – Itch

7 – Heavy Assault

8 – Nestle Down

9 – Tell Me What You Want

10 – Dole Brother

11 – Keg

12 – Reno

13 – Looking Forward To The Change

Pre-order Brain Candy: HERE

Release Date: July 31

Record Label: BMG/Farmer & The Owl


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