To celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary, the folks at Damaged Goods Records are releasing a double CD/vinyl compilation of dayglo, D.I.Y bubblegum punks, Helen Love. 30 years? I can’t remember where I first heard them, possibly Mark and Lard on the late shift. It’s like they’ve always been here.

From ‘Yeah, Yeah, We’re Helen Love’ onwards, it’s a reassuring trawl through their back catalogue. No one wants a drum n bass/free jazz Helen Love album. It was no wonder that Joey Ramone invited them to New York, they share similar DNA; instantly memorable tunes for sunny days, or when you need to pretend that the sun is shining. Most of them fly past in under three minutes, always guaranteed to raise a smile. Whether it’s ‘Beat Him Up’ or ‘King Of Kung Fu’, they put their Casio keyboard and Woolworths guitar to good use. Their hand made, primary colour record sleeves were designed by necessity, but perfectly suited the tunes.

‘So In Love With You’ would sit nicely in John Shuttleworth’s set, a real compliment in my book! Oof!

They even had the nerve to nick the title ‘Leader Of The Pack’ for one of their songs. ‘So Hot’ should be the theme to your summer holiday. This is ear worms a-go-go. There’s ‘Joey Ramoney’, of course, the perfect fan response song. I can even forgive their cut-up of ‘Wig Wam Bam’, and Joey himself appears on ‘Punk Boy’, a joyous duet.

As it’s looking like we’ll have a ‘Golden Summer’, this is the place to acquaint yourself with Helen Love. Over 30 songs. Tune into their own ‘Summer Pop Radio’, break out the ice pops and stop being so serious. Let’s go!

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Author: Martin Chamarette