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Cool Dad - "Cool Dad" | Album Review

by Dan Manning (@mandanning324)

Cool Dad are a two piece fuzz-pop outfit from Connecticut, sharing members with fellow fuzz-rockers Furnsss. On their self-titled debut album, however, Tom Nagy and Brendan Dyer have made it clear that Cool Dad is entirely its own thing. The 8 tracks on this album are short and catchy but certainly pack a punch; each riff is drenched in a thick layer of noise and distortion that slams you right in the chest.

Beneath all the noise, however, there is a very clear sense of melody and dynamics. Tracks like “weed boy” and “jeanie” bounce back and forth from noodly, chorus-tinged riffs to forceful, fuzzed-out pounding and the occasional searing guitar solo with ease. The dynamic range of these tracks, “jeanie” in particular, is what makes a lot of the songs on this album so attention grabbing. Dyer and Nagy show that they know the appropriate times to dial it back just as much as they know when to drown it out in fuzz and distortion.

Nagy’s vocals are somber and subdued, often feeling as if they are being weighed down by the sheer force of the guitars and drums wailing behind him. His words are lethargic in delivery, but never to the point of seeming lazy. Lyrically, he touches on feelings of mediocrity and loneliness, singing “It’s not the first time I’ve felt like nothing” on album highlight “nervous”. The follow up track “self-hate team” addresses similar feelings but in a much more stripped-down way with Nagy mumbling “I can feel the mediocrity hanging over me” over gently picked acoustic licks. There’s a gentle hissing in the background of the track and as it reaches its conclusion a buzzing, dirty synth line sneaks its way into the mix. Even on what is easily the most intimate track on the album, Cool Dad find a way to incorporate the noise present on all their other songs, allowing “self-hate team” to stick out, but not stray too far from the tone they have set for themselves. The closing track is a calm, instrumental closer based around looping guitars, feedback, and droning key lines that serve to wrap up the album quite nicely.

Cool Dad’s debut clocks in at just under 20 minutes; it is short, sweet, to the point, and only pauses to take a breather as it approaches its final two tracks. Although short, it doesn’t leave you dissatisfied. There is uniformity amongst these 8 catchy tracks that leave the listener happy with what they’ve been given, but eager for more.