Sometimes it all comes together, even when you weren’t trying.
I picked up this EP for review based, more or less, on its label – It’s Alive – which has released a lot of enjoyable records over the years. Then I thought, you know, this voice sounds like Future Girls. When you listen to the kind of DIY punk I do, figuring out who is actually in some of these bands takes time, but additional digging revealed that this is a Matty Grace project, who is also our featured February stream as I write this (in that case with a new record under the Modern Cynics moniker). Small world. And just to set the record straight, Weekend Dads hail from Nova Scotia and predate Future Girls. I’m just coming at it backwards.
Anyway, this 2020 EP has four quick-blast popified-punk tunes that are big on melody and singalong-isms. Opener and title track “Good Hangs” is a gang-vocal Fest-punk style singalong with peppy drums and uplifting vibes. While it’s a familiar style, the tone is similar but different on the next three tracks. “Falcon” kicks off the Future Girls similarities that repeat through the rest of the record. It’s singalong, even some “whoa-ohs,” but with a single vocalist approach that draws emotion from the musical movements more than the chorus, an approach that repeats in the closing track. While the lyrics are far from subtle, the music itself is more nuanced, with some underlying ‘80s new wave tones that I pick up, providing a spookier, morose touch masked by the punk resilience. “Slipper Talk” is a mix of those two styles, meeting in the middle between gang vocal chorus, harmonies, and a powerful melodic lead. A hyper bass line delivers anxious energy. “And Somehow I’m The Shallow One” closes the door. It’s a first-person, personal point-of-view that takes on a larger-than-one-person theme with its “You say I’m shallow/ But you’re the basement” refrain. It’s self-critical, yet also pointing blame at an unjust world, treading water and splashing back against high tide with a middle finger in the air.
Honestly, the way I’ve described this record basically says that Weekend Dads takes the two main types of punk I listen to and merges them. While it sounds pretty familiar throughout, that’s in large part due to my own familiarity with one of the member's other projects rather than being derivative. It’s good stuff, perfectly in tune with that feeling of letting oneself go in a hot, sweaty basement after dealing with the world’s nonsense the rest of the week. A feeling that’s void during the past year of isolation.
8.0 / 10
This was a hard review to write. It’s not because this EP is bad, but because it’s so damn good. The pandemic has left us all dying to go to ...
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