Having seen Home Counties support DITZ in February I felt, and hoped, they were destined for big things. Well, since that gig and a the debut single release of ‘Redevelopment’ in March they are on their way to realising this having signed to the always excellent Alcopop Records label. I think this is a great fit as Alcopops really look out for their artists as demonstrated by the mutual respect between artist to label was touchingly demonstrated through the break-up of Nelson Can this year).
With a running time squeaking just over the two-minute mark Dad Bod is a thin slice of Home Counties goodness, but don’t underestimate how much Home Counties can cram into this. The bass kicks off the track like a post-modern ‘My Sharona’ before woodblock and cowbell herald guitar and recorder (that’s right a recorder, the weapon of choice for primary school kids). This has a more restrained pace than the eclectic-frenetic spasm of ‘Redevelopment’ but it suits the methodical dismantling of what songwriter and vocalist Will Harrison says is exploring “modern middle-class masculinity”. It’s a satirical look at the more sinister side of certain misguided middle-aged males: “Don’t he know he’s overpaid? Don’t he know he’s twice her age? Man’s rights lobbyist, can’t he see it’s obvious?”
Dad Bod is another Angular Spectangular triumph for a band that I feel sure are going to be making it into the recommended and Top 10 lists of music writers in coming years. Home Counties always bring precision and clarity to their songs but avoid the clinical by infusing songs with humanity and both serious and playful subject matter. The musicianship demonstrated by Will Harrison (vocals/guitar), Conor Kearney (guitar/vocals), Barn Peiser Pepin (synth/percussion/vocals), Sam Woodroffe (bass) and Dan Hearn (drums) is superb and, having seen them live, I know this is not just studio magic. Producer Theo Verney has done a great job not over-embellishing their sound but just allowing a clean recording and great mix to let the song shine.
‘Dad Bod’ is an amuse-bouche before their upcoming Redevelopment EP arrives and it’s available on SoundCloud, Spotify and there’s also a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it limited edition cassette release (only 50 produced) available through the Alcopop webstore.
Review by Paul F Cook