Two-piece bands are far from ubiquitous, and though they’ve been riding high since The White Stripes hit it big a decade ago—and more recently Japandroids—they’ve always succeeded by keeping the music simple and affecting. Building on the same guitar and drums foundation is New Jersey’s Dads, but instead of acquiescing guitarist Scott Scharinger and drummer John Bradley push the limits this simple set-up allows. Dads’ 2012 album American Radass (This Is Important) dealt largely in quick-paced mathematics and well-groomed hooks with few deviations (the 7-minute “Shit Twins” being the most notable exception), and with the two sharing vocal duties the members compliment each other by moving in lock-step motions and taking their songs to the brink of collapse.
Dads has only grown in stature since American Radass’ release, touring relentlessly (currently out with The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die and Pity Sex) and bringing an increased profile that sees it jumping from highly capable upstart Flannel Gurl Records to the higher-profile 6131 Records. With a new EP, Pretty Good, nearing its release on 6131, The A.V. Club has an exclusive stream of the first single, “My Crass Patch.” The track is a stylistic departure for Dads but it strikes the same balance of proficiency and punchiness that characterized the band's earlier works. Scharinger throws gravel on his usually sparkling riffs while Bradley pulls back his poeticism, letting the instruments carry the emotional weight before injecting his ruminative vocals. Dads' heart-on-sleeve earnestness has dissipated somewhat, but its increasingly diverse approach is what makes the band's songs, old and new, resonate all the more.