Friday, 22 November 2013

DADS - Old Blue Last

Emo seems to have crept back in. There’s no way to tell if it’s just long enough since the heyday or if it’s the lots of student loans and not a lot of jobs problem most college kids have right now, but sad music with twinkly guitars is good again (just try Modern Baseball and TWIABPP’s latest releases).

One of the most discussed bands in this revival is Dads, a two piece from New Jersey, who are currently on their first UK tour whose sound is clearly influenced by the arpeggiated guitar and math rock drumming of American Football/Snowing. However, there’s an added intensity that makes them brilliant live, seamlessly shifting from confessional lyrics over wandering guitar to an intricate cacophony of screams, distortion and explosive fills.

What makes these transitions work so well is the borderline telepathic understanding between Scott (guitar) and John (drums). Dads have clearly thought extensively about how to convey each song live and can completely switch the atmosphere in a strike of the snare. The one thing that is sometimes lacking is a bass, but if a third member disrupts their connection then it’s not worth it.

Throughout the show there was a sense of something building which came to the fore in the ominous tones of the ferocious My Crass Patch. That track and the fan favourites that followed (Dan’s Christopher Walken Impression, Shit Twins, Pass Me The Ball) turned the standing area into a ripe tide of crowd surfers and screamed lyrics, because on top of everything else these guys also write a killer hook (“When you told me you loved me, I imploded from the stomach out” / ”You’ll say it’ll be just like the old days, but it won’t be the fucking old days”).

Emo might be back, it could be post-emo or it could be whatever you want it to be. Regardless, twinkly guitars and sad screaming is back, and Dads are leading the charge.

Tom Gane

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