Review: The Dollyrots – Whiplash Splash

If I believed in musical guilty pleasures, mine would be pop punk. I thought during my mid-teens I’d found all the pop punk I like (it’s only a handful of bands). However, The Dollyrots supporting Bowling For Soup immediately added another band to the roster. Their new album, Whiplash Splash has been squeezed out whilst they added another Dollytot to their family.

Featuring a dozen new tracks of upbeat pop punk fun, The Dollyrots can’t fail to put a smile on your face with their sweet as sugar songs. There’s not a downbeat moment to be had as Kelly Ogden introduces the album and declares “Let’s go!” and it’s full on happy-go-lucky pop punk goodness for the next forty minutes.

Possibly the closest to a title track “Mermaid” (the album artwork has a mermaid – does that technically make it a title track or a cover track?) has its downbeat moments in its opening verses before things are kicked up a notch in the chorus. The acoustic-driven “This Addiction” is the other lower point tempo-wise in the album and at almost the halfway mark; it makes for a great point to flip the vinyl to the other side.

“Other Trucker” follows a similar pattern to “Mermaid” but with a honky-tonk feeling and hard percussion to give it a jovial feel. “Squeeze Me” has a sunny disposition about it and much like the rest of the album; it’ll lift your spirits if you’re having a horrid time of it. And really, that’s what pop-punk should do.

Meanwhile songs like “Dance Like a Maniac”, “City of Angels” and the tongue-in-cheek “Just Because I’m Blonde” pull the pop gloss into the background and are dripping with typical punk attitude. The bass lines from Kelly Ogden are as thick as a George R. R. Martin novel and prominent throughout the album. It’s obvious they’ve been pushed high into the mix, rumbling alongside Luis Cabezas’ punchy punk chords.

The only thing I don’t like about the album is the final song, “Walking on Sunshine”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good cover of the Katrina and the Waves song and it’s not a knock on The Dollyrots. Luis Cabezas has transformed the guitar work into something far more interesting. It’s more the song itself I dislike. I can recognise and appreciate a good pop song despite being a rock and metal fan but this is a song which is about as deep as a paddling pool, but then again it is pop…

When you spend most of your musical time listening to roughly the same thing over and over again, The Dollyrots makes for a welcome change. Despite a tight window of time to write and record, they’ve obviously not sacrificed quality and coincidentally, Whiplash Splash may be their best work to date.

Whiplash Splash is released on 24th March

The Dollyrots: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube | myspace | bandcamp

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