REVIEW: Dads – ‘Pretty Good’

dads

Artist: Dads
Album: Pretty Good
Genre: Emo, Indie, Punk

The resurgence of the emo/punk genre has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Into it. Over it, The World Is A Beautiful Place and I’m No Longer Afraid To Die, and Modern Baseball are a few bands that come to mind. So, when the 2-piece band Dads appeared on the scene, many people weren’t surprised.

Hailing from New Jersey, which is known for cultivating some of the most iconic emo bands the genre has ever seen, Dads’ newest EP, Pretty Good, is certainly a step forward and more progressive than their debut full length, American Rad Ass.

The vocal quality by both John Bradley and Scott Scharinger is leaps and bounds over their last efforts. Some of this may be do to the quality of the EP’s recording, but it’s safe to say that the band is significantly more focused and professional on this attempt.

Dads’ energy in the introduction to “My Crass Patch” is stellar, but the off-timing and sloppy drumming by Bradley takes away from the energy and aggression. In fact, the inconsistency of the drumming throughout the course of the EP is bothersome and often difficult to overlook. It’s not that Bradley is a terrible drummer because more often than not the drum parts fit the arrangement. The issue lies when there’s attempts to be technical for the sake of being technical.

“No We’re Not Actually” is easily the most ambitious song on the EP. After about 2 minutes of the same guitar riff repeating over and over again, you’re begging for a chord change. When it finally happens, you’ll be glad you stuck around for the building anticipation. “Because I can’t bear to see him like this again / I keep thinking back to all of us in that kitchen on those mornings,” conveys the same sense of emotion that gets lost somewhere after the EP’s first track. Unfortunately, there’s a feeling of dissatisfaction with the way the track and album ends. The final words, “how I miss you,” makes you almost wish the song would have resolved itself in a peaceful note.

There’s many times during this EP where it feels as though Dads isn’t positive or confident in the direction of the band’s sound. There is even a rhythm change at the end of “Can I Be Yr Deadbeat Boyfriend?” that seems to be more cohesive with the first and last tracks on the album, and perhaps was subconsciously what the band was looking to accomplish in the first place. In the end, Pretty Good is, well…pretty good. What anyone should take from this EP is that Dads has the potential to write some excellent music. If they stay true to themselves and continue to create more songs similar in the vein of “My Crass Patch” and “No We’re Not Actually,” there’s no doubt that Dads will begin turning more heads than just those in the emo and punk community.

Score: 7.3/10
Review written by: Mike Sacchetti (follow him on Twitter)

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