The Stay at Home Dads are Dillon Markham (drums), Jacob Diamante (guitar), Alan Woulfe (bass) and David Wilson (vocals). They formed in 2010 and recently released Heavy Load.
At their core they are a rock band. There were a couple of bands that seemed to be clear influences. The band certainly sounds like rehearsed veterans. They give great performances which felt organic, powerful and in the pocket.
After a quick intro the band gets going with a highlight called “Breaking Through.” There is some formidable slap bass happening before the band explodes. Once the vocals come there is a pretty strong resemblance to Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine. The affectation and inflection has that aggressive vocal style that de la Rocha for the most part invented. Once the chorus begins however they go into a hard rock style with a noticeably different vocal style that is more straightforward. Great song.
I was getting different vibes off of “Can't Let Go.” The riff on the verse is fantastic with a blaring lead guitar and a steady rhythm section. There is a very different vocal style which comes closer to a singer like Maynard James Keenan. The chorus explodes with ’80s metal band vibrato. It's a great mix.
With those first two songs I wasn’t sure what else to expect on the album. “Never Satisfied” goes back into Rage Against the Machine territory but perhaps with more levity on this run. The music felt like a melding between the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage. It sounded like the best of both worlds.
The band gets melancholy and atmospheric on “Trails'” which shows more sides to the band. There is a strong grunge flavor on the chorus. You then get a more pop/hard rock oriented track like “What Am I Missing?” As the album progresses the band dances on a spectrum between the aforementioned styles with a high degree of success.
The band sometimes feels like a party band. There are also more serious sounding songs. There seems to be a influence mostly coming from ’90s rock bands which is spread out over these songs. I did have some difficulty finding any recurring sign posts that formed a signature sound.
The performances are great throughout and I kept getting the feeling this band would be a blast to see live. If they ever tour in Chicago I’ll be waiting in line. Take a listen.
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