Dads – American Radass (2012)

Dads. Everything about this band, from the name to the song titles, is unusual. It is for this reason that I decided to give this band a listen back in August when their debut entitled American Radass was released and I do not regret that decision. Dads is an up-and-coming two-piece emo band from New Brunswick, New Jersey and they are currently signed to Flannel Gurl Records. Like most other bands that play this style of music, Dads has a very mellow and laidback kind of feel to their songs. This is obvious right from the start of the first track, “If Your Song Title Has The Word ‘Beach’ In It, I’m Not Listening To It”. This track opens with a slow guitar intro that could be compared to Transit. The vocals are whiny but this quality fits in the style perfectly. The lyrics here are what you would expect from an emo band. The lyrics are depressing and full of complaints to no one in particular.

The guitars on American Radass have a great tone and always keep the music interesting with strings of notes and not just the same bland riff over and over. Some of the time the drumming and vocals overpower the guitar and I have to strain to hear exactly what is being played. The drumming is about average as well but I assume this is because both of them also have to do vocals on top of drumming and guitar.

The second track, “Get To The Beach”, picks up the pace from the first song and begins to have a more punk-ish feel here. Despite the increase in tempo, the instruments and vocals pretty much play the same style and nothing really changes in that aspect. The part that really stands out is where the music slows down and the vocalist shouts “A permanent bee sting in my throat, I can’t ever catch my breath”. This is probably as energetic as American Radass gets, but that’s not a bad thing.

The fifth track “Shit Twins” is the longest on the album and is also one of the best. This song manages to hold my attention for the entire seven minutes. It starts off with a slow guitar intro layered with soft vocals. The song has some catchy vocals and they are at their finest here. The last two minutes of this track are spectacular and the lyrics left me broken hearted. American Radass closes with “Heavy To The Touch (Think About Tonight, Forget About Tomorrow)” and the tempo really slows down. There is really nothing here that wasn’t previously on the album but it is a decent end to American Radass.

Around the last couple of tracks, I kept getting the feeling that I had heard some of the songs earlier on the album. American Radass begins to feel repetitive towards the end and some of the songs begin to blend together. Also, the production on the album seemed off at times. At some points, the drumming was too loud or the vocals and guitar were too quiet.

Despite these flaws, American Radass is a great first release and puts Dads on the radar. If you have not listened to American Radass, then I recommend that you do now. There is nothing new on the album but they do a great job of performing the standard traits of the genre. Keep your eye out for Dads in the future because there is a lot of potential behind this band.

Links: Facebook – Bandcamp

By Austin Richburg ~ Me Gusta Reviews