Is life getting you down? Are you sick to death of politics, with the tangerine presidents and bumbling buffoons bullshitting their way to power. Are you exasperated by the fact that Miley Cyrus was the most rock ‘n’ roll thing at Glastonbury, or maybe you’re just disappointed that the dragon show didn’t end the way you wanted it to?
Whatever the reason, whatever the dilemma, you probably just need a dose of power pop to lift your spirits, and LA ‘s finest exponents The Dollyrots are just what the doctor ordered.
Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas have been delivering high energy, bubblegum punk pop, choc-a-bloc with buzzsaw guitars and catchy choruses, for nigh on 20 years now. After a stint on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records roster, the duo has continued to release their material independently, funding through the likes of Kickstarter and the now defunct PledgeMusic platform. ‘Daydream Explosion’ is their 7th long player, recorded and released with the help of Little Steven’s ever cool Wicked Cool Records label.
There’s something instantly satisfying about a Dollyrots record. Whether it’s the way their sound takes you back to a time when things were a lot simpler or the fact that every song sounds like it could soundtrack any turn of the century teen movie, from ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ to the highly entertaining Josie & The Pussycats movie. (Yeah, I’ll admit to liking both of those movies).
From high energy opener ‘Animal’ to the closing ode to their daughter ‘Daisy’s Song’, the husband and wife team (and whoever plays drums this time) deliver sickly sweet pop ditties with guitars slung low, turned up to 11 and always with a smile on their face.
‘Everything’ is a high energy burst of noise that could’ve fitted in nicely on Ginger Wildheart’s ill-fated Hey! Hello! project. It will urge you to shout “awesome” and suck a lollipop ( I’m on the way to the shop to grab a pack of Chupa Chups as you read this!). A great build up and a fantastic chorus makes this song a perfect single, job done. Elsewhere, shouty cheerleader anthem ‘In Your Face’ is part Transvision Vamp and part Tony Basil, and I’ll take that sound any day of the week. And ‘Naked’ with its helium-induced chorus and cleverly placed handclaps is as kitsch as you can get. Aly & AJ’s ‘Potential Breakup Song’, anyone? A guilty pleasure indeed.
Mixing up the sounds of The Runaways and Ramones with Green Day and kids Saturday morning TV, The Dollyrots have the knack of making you forget about your daily woes and escape to a world where you party hard to punk-pop anthems all day, while scoffing pick-a-mix and chugging on cherry coke.
Ever present we have Kelly’s helium-induced vocals, Luis’s fuzzy riffs, a handful of melodic hooks and killer bubblegum choruses to die for. Highlights for me are ‘Flippy In My Red Dress’, a song that takes things down, coming on like The Creepshow and veering into rockabilly territory. And ‘I Know How To Party’, an instant earworm I just can’t shake. A proper party anthem if ever there was one. I dare you to press play and not have an overwhelming desire to strip to your pants and dance like no one is watching. Or maybe that’s just me!
Let’s get one thing straight. ‘Daydream Explosion’ is not going to change your life, but the Dollyrots are not claiming it will. What they do promise is escapism from this crazy world we live in with their euphoric, catchy tunes. Maybe you can lose yourself for 40 minutes and return time and time again when you need a pick me up. And in that respect, Kelly and Luis have succeeded in spades.
Yeah, a Dollyrots album is the best legal high you could spend your hard earned on right now. And as ever, it comes on rather lush marbled vinyl that looks good enough to eat, what’s not to like here?
Buy Daydream Explosion Here
Author: Ben Hughes