Australians with catchy as f*&k surf pop
$12 adv / $12 dos
Hockey Dad is Zach Stephenson & Billy Fleming, two childhood sweethearts who met when Billy dropped in on Zach surfing the point, at the tender age of 4. One day, after a few finger paintings and their daily nap, Billy & Zach made a pact to become the greatest band… out of Windang (Australia). Fast forward a few years (about 15) and the boys still have their afternoon nap, only now it’s after surfs or jams, and often both. Combining their passion for the ocean with a love for garage and old school 60’s surf tunes, Hockey Dad writes some catchy as f*&k surf pop hits which they are ready to share with everyone outside their hometown.
Normally, when you ask a band, "How did you get together?" the answer is going to be pretty straightforward. But nothing about the psych-rock quintet Psychomagic is straightforward.
Bass player Scott Page says he stumbled across keyboardist Eddie Bond on an amateur webcam site. Bond says he met the band "in a basement" and "fell in love with Scott's eyes." Guitarist Stone Tang is the most forthcoming: "I was pissed off at my bandmates, and they were pissed of at some of theirs, and I said, as a joke: 'Fuck this. This sucks. I should play guitar for you guys.' And then a month later I was in the band."
In truth, Psychomagic began when singer-guitarist Steven Fusco and drummer Anthony Brisson started writing songs together in 2013. However journalistically inhibiting the group's sense of humor may be, that lighthearted humor is integral to the band. Fusco's performance history, in fact, includes a public-access cable TV comedy show, and his first songs were written specifically for kids.
"I think it was more of a defense mechanism, too," Fusco says, "because no one can tell you, like, your children's songs suck, you know what I mean? Because then they're a dickhead."
Though Fusco is now comfortable enough to write songs for adults, Psychomagic has held onto its sense of absurdity. With nostalgic '60s keyboards, surf-flecked guitars and Fusco's shape-shifting voice, the band's new album, Bad Ideas, showcases a parade of slightly disturbed characters: a lovesick Transylvanian on the "Monster Mash"-style title track; a spaced-out cult member on "Flowers on the Sun"; a brutally honest rock-'n'-roller on "Your Lover."
Comedic deflection is still clearly part of what makes Psychomagic tick. But Fusco says they're not worried about the self-conscious silliness coming off as insincere.
SHANNON GORMLEY, WILLAMETTE WEEK
actually 3 young, growing boys stacked in a trench coat