Jack Rabbit Slim’s continues to be an incredible venue for live rock bands who have a few calloused fingers steeped in punk pie. The large area in front of the stage makes for a very ripe moshpit when the accompanying band can elicit a intense enough reaction from fans, and Saturday night followed the tradition.
On a nationwide tour promoting their debut album Boronia, surf-pop duo with grunge-punk affectations Hockey Dad play music that either makes you want to drop what you’re doing and head-bang, or drop what you’re doing and take a WA coast road odyssey on a whim. Zach Stephenson’s salty nasal croon evokes jangle-rock aficionado Mac DeMarco in making each kinetic tune an essential listen on a blistering summer beach. William Fleming’s hyperactive, thumping drumming grounds their sound firmly in a mosh-friendly foundation, making each and every song eminently danceable. Fans waited passionately for new single “Can’t Have Them” and exploded when it arrived; “Jump the Gun” did anything but, inviting a number of crowd surfers to take centre stage; their biggest success to date “I Need A Woman” was fervently received, granting credence to Hockey Dad‘s rabid fandom.
The supporting acts were no less superb; many fans of Dad were very apparently fans of both Palm Soma and Sly Withers who preceded them. Soma admittedly provided a standard indie-rock sound but delivered an electric performance to back it up. And arguably the night’s highlights, grunge-rock outfit Sly Withers have been together since high school, and their youthful exuberance, playful lyrics and hard-hitting sound definitely seemed to benefit from that chemistry. Expect chart success and ardent fandom for these up-and-comers in due time. An epic night out!