Review: The Dollyrots – ‘Daydream Explosion’

The DollyrotsConsigliere to Tony Soprano on one of the best TV shows ever, hiding out in Norway in another. Playing guitar in the little known E Street Band, as well as his own band. Syndicated radio show and record label boss. Steven Van Zandt (aka Little Steven) is a walking encyclopedia on all forms and genres of music. He is to TV what Martin Scorsese is to cinema; an esteemed music lover who uses every opportunity to casually slip in some choice cuts to whichever project he is working on. So, when Van Zandt waxes lyrical about The Dollyrots, you really should pay attention.

It’s been quite a while since Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas released a “label” album, choosing to self-release instead. But, pairing up with Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records for ‘Daydream Explosion’ is a genius idea, as tracks like ‘Everything’, ‘Oblivious’ and ‘I Know How To Party’ would blow people’s minds at one of Van Zandt’s “underground dance parties”. Slotting in perfectly alongside Ramones, Joan Jett, and The Beach Boys…well, it is a dance party after all.

Then there is the 60’s girl-group homage on ‘Watching The Storm Go By’. The spoken word interlude recalls the Shangri-Las classic ‘Leader Of The Pack’ and since Van Zandt is an expert in this era, he must have had a smile on his face when he heard this one for the first time. Slight Asbury Park influence running in the background maybe? Just ever-so slight though.

As a genre, pop punk can sometimes omit the riffs, but The Dollyrots buck that trend and on moments like ‘Animal’ and ‘In Your Face’ guitarist Luis Cabezas really goes for it. The latter is especially memorable and the earworms are impossible to shake. It might be the Joan Jett crunching riffs, or the ever so subtle Nirvana-like touches, regardless it’s four well-crafted minutes that linger on long after the last strains fade out.

Ogden and Cabezas are a married couple with two kids, and their relationship plays quite a significant part in their songwriting. For instance, ‘Everything’ is a total banger, one of the catchiest songs of the year so-far, but pay attention to the lyrics as it’s a sweet, real-life love song. A lesson in making an easily identifiable song, in fact the only potential line missing is “I’ll hold your hair away from your face as you puke”. Same with ‘Naked’, full of killer lines like “I just wanna know will you be naked when I get home?”, all played out atop a throbbing bassline from Ogden and a simple, rhythmic handclap.

‘Daydream Explosion’ is a lengthy affair, fourteen tracks to be precise, but here’s the thing; it doesn’t drag. Instead it’s a cheery, melodic romp full of power pop punk nuggets. The Dollyrots strike gold on what is easily their strongest offering to date.

Available now on Wicked Cool Records, more information here.

Review – Dave

Check Also

Review: Amigo The Devil – Slay, Glasgow

“I don’t know if you have ever lost your voice on the morning that you …

FAHRAN: New Single “Sever The Ties” July 29th

Nottingham’s rock-metal band Fahran (pronounced Fa-Ren) are set to release their eagerly anticipated new album, …

SIMONE SIMONS – releases video for ‘R.E.D.’ from her debut solo album

SIMONE SIMONS has released the video for ‘R.E.D.’, from her debut solo album, Vermillion, that’s …