If “mom-core” was the music your aunt played in her minivan, “dad-core” is the music your uncle played on his motorcycle, e.g. Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Mötorhead, Mötley Crüe, other bands that use an umlaut (you get the point). Brian DeStoop and the Old Haunts, with their new single “Never Going Back”, have created a song that harkens to a time (if we’re being honest) they probably weren’t alive for. They’re creating “dad-core”, despite none of them being dads. However, their execution doesn’t come off as calculated or contrived. It sounds like a couple of guys making music they love, and who am I to hold their age against them?
I’ve known about Brian and the Old Haunts for a couple of years now, and have seen them live. They’re all great guys, a tight group, and very good songwriters. Their new single “Never Going Back” is a monument to that latter talent. The seamless transitions between parts, the title melodically referenced at the end of each verse, “Never Going Back” has a lot going for it. I do, however, have to hold the mix against them. It’s not a deal breaker, but the quiet instruments next to the louder vocal track makes it sound like Brian is singing miles away from the band. From an arranging perspective, “Never Going Back” is begging for an organ part holding the chorus down, or a piano part being the “cherry on top” that is the verse sundae. The mix is very bare bones; save for an opening riff with a little pizazz and a very tasteful guitar solo.
In a modern wave of rock music filled to the brim with intricate and complex arrangements, Brian DeStoop and the Old Haunts have crafted a breath of fresh air on their newest single. Maybe a bit too simple, but it does anything but take away from it’s enjoyability. The deep cuts are always the best parts on an album, and I can’t wait to hear what the guys have up their sleeves on their new album. We could all use a little more “dad-core” in our lives.