The Dollyrots – Whiplash Splash

There are inescapable feel-good encounters and there are others which lead you into lustfully energetic engagements but there are very few which has the body and spirit engaged in a full on party of endless physical endeavour equipped with mischievous behaviour.  Whiplash Splash is one of the few, a feverish riot of sound and inhibition squashing incitement virtually tattooing a broad smile on face and mood.

Uncaged by Californian duo The Dollyrots, the band’s sixth studio album is a new wave of their bubblegum flavoured pop infested punk ‘n’ roll. A year ago, the pair invaded a new plateau in their sound with the Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out EP, itself continuing the new bloom of growth started by previous album Barefoot and Pregnant two years before that. Now the ‘invader’ has become the conqueror, Whiplash Splash owning the new level of creative maturity and instinctive contagion in the pair’s sound leaving the body exhausted and emotions flying in its wake.

If last year was a truly busy time for the couple of vocalist/bassist Kelly Ogden and vocalist/guitarist Luis Cabezas, with the release of the EP and a sold out UK tour with Bowling For Soup backing up the birth of their child, 2017 has the potential of being even hungrier on their time and virulent revelry with Whiplash Splash leading the way. As Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out, the crowd funded album was produced by John Fields with the duo and immediately has ears and attention enslaved with a proposition maybe best described as The Donnas and The Crystals meets Australian band Valentiine infused with Bowling For Soup mischief, a hint which covers all the album though really it is all best pinned down as simply The Dollyrots.

With the album’s title, imagery, and writing spun from Ogden’s passion for and longing to be a mermaid, as well as working as a metaphor for the band’s spilt time living in downtown Los Angeles and coastal Florida, Whiplash Splash just rips itself from the speakers with opener I Do. A squeal and coaxing beats hit ears before a swaggering stroll of Ramones like riffs and further tenacious rhythmic exploit punk instincts led by the catchy vocal lures of Ogden and the equally enticing throb of her bass. Feet and hips are just as quickly involved as too voice and appetite, the song simply punk pop devilry refusing to be ignored.

The following Babbling Idiot is just as virulent, Ogden’s harmonic romancing warming the angular surge of guitar and the sparking of solitary rhythmic seduction before it all boils up into another seriously addictive and physically persuasive chorus. The song has a slim seventies/eighties scent to it, occasionally bringing thoughts of bands like The Photos and The Waitresses, but roars with a punk ‘n’ roll zeal borne of today’s agitation and energy.

Next up is Mermaid, the song pure seduction from its harmonic caresses and flirtatious hooks to a sonic blaze fuelled by just as forceful bait. It is a creative collusion built for the listener’s slavish captivation, success captured within a handful of breaths with similar rewards sought and found by Just Because I’m Blonde straight after. With Cabezas’ guitar jangle the first chain of temptation, Ogden’s probing bassline the second, the track quickly prowls the senses with a lively confident swagger and a throbbing almost salacious backbone. Again hooks escape from each creative twist with B52s inspired keys just adding to the imagination igniting drama.

From its first breath, the album is a puppeteer to body and spirit, continuing its manipulation in fine style with Squeeze Me. Its initial rockabilly hued bass groove is alone enough to tempt submission, an almost taunting tempting soon fondled by sonic invention and subsequently joined by Ogden’s vocal saunter.  As words and song make an increasingly pop punk proposal no red blooded rocker can refuse, kinetic dynamics ensure class ‘A’ catchiness before This Addiction serenades ears with its own boisterously infectious swing and harmonic invention; its croon sliding melodic caresses across the senses like a sultry lover inflamed with lust borne energy.

Dance Like a Maniac more than lives up to its title as a persuasion, its bold and bruising punk rock a bully for feet and body swerves driving song and listener into zealous union while Saturday Morning with a great opening bass groan offers its own headstrong physical temptation. Riffs and rhythms alone are sparks for instinctive compliance and only assisted by the blend of hard and pop rock surging through the song’s imaginative tapestry of sound and ideation.

Both tracks leave lungs gasping for breath and pleasure over flowing, yet still get slightly eclipsed by the hip swinging incitement that is City of Angels; imagine The Runaways and Bikini Kill mixing with The Go-Gos and you have a sense of its mighty romp before things mellow out with the graceful Jump Start This Heart, a song lined with an electro pop shimmer and bound in melancholic beauty as a sonic fire burns in its heart.

The rawer pop ‘n’ roll of Pack of Smokes steps forward next, bouncing along as a caustic air hugs its fiercely catchy enterprise and energy, and though it does not quite match those before it, the song leaves satisfaction pumped before the outstanding Other Trucker with its reggae hinted, attitude soaked summer canter again has pleasure brimming over. As throughout, Cabezas’ vocal backing and unity with Ogden’s is superb, often understated but always a complimentary hue to her almost siren-esque presence, especially on this treat.

The album closes with Walking on Sunshine, The Dollyrots giving the Katrina and the Waves classic their distinctive craft and energy. To be honest, it is a song which has never lit our fires but that does not stop the twosome causing bodies to bounce in the office as the album ends in fine style.

Ogden and Cabezas have hit another high with Whiplash Splash, their loftiest yet in all aspects and fair to say, when put together by The Dollyrots pop and punk has never been more tempting.

Whiplash Splash is out now through Arrested Youth Records and is available digitally and physically @ https://thedollyrots.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates

Mar 28 The Rebel Lounge Phoenix, AZ

Mar 29 The Hideout San Diego, CA

Mar 31 The Hi Hat Los Angeles, CA

Apr 01 The Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Kitchen Fullerton, CA

May 11 The Saint Asbury Park, NJ

May 12 Firehouse 13 Providence, RI

May 15 Cafe Nine New Haven, CT

May 16 Ottobar Baltimore, MD

May 17 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, PA

May 19 Sunnyvale – Brooklyn Brooklyn, NY

http://www.dollyrots.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thedollyrots/    https://twitter.com/thedollyrots

Pete RingMaster 25/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bastards Of Fate – Suck The Light Out

 

If Bethlem Royal Hospital had a house band at the time of its notoriously infamous period when it was better named as Bedlam, Bastards Of Fate would have fitted the role like a glove. The Roanoke, Virginia hailing outfit create a sound and incitement to which a description of lunacy is inevitable and inescapable yet, as evidenced in their new album Suck The Light Out, it is a skilfully woven and creatively deceptive aberration which borders on genius; a dementia ridden habitude obviously.

There are few bands which truly offer an adventure for mind and ears but Bastards Of Fate go even further; challenging and testing the listener, almost examining their tolerance and their psyche for unsettling creative behaviour but with something which is rich unrelenting fun. Though our introduction to the band thanks to our bud Mike at Crashing Through, the well-received releases of their previous two albums suggests the quintet has been sharing striking and daring proposals for a while, most likely from the first emerging breath in 2012 as a solo project for frontman Doug Cheatwood. Without experiencing either 2012’s Who’s A Fuzzy Buddy? or Vampires are Real and Palpable two years later, it is still easy to say that Bastards Of Fate have hit a new plateau in sound and imagination, as well as mania such the might of Suck The Light Out.

From its first breath the album has claws in the imagination, opener Freemasons heralding its arrival with the ringing of bells recorded at a Cardiff church during a UK tour. Swiftly their call is smothered in darker off-kilter hues; a breeze evolving into a quirky theatre of sound with an air of hallucination and as suggestively clockwork as it is nursery. Vocals led by Cheatwood are just as eclectic settling into a controlled incitement with a scent of Bill Nelson’s Red Noise to it, Cheatwood indeed not for the last time with a touch of that band’s founder to his delivery. Across its tempestuous flank, the song shows irritability in it rock ‘n roll, the guitar of Benji Pugh mischievously colluding with the keys of Camellia Delk for cheerier temptation while the constant nagging of bass from Jason Wellz and Doug Shelor’s swinging beats drive the raw aggressive drama boiling up in it all, an agitation ebbing and flowing with mercurial energy as 12 Stone Toddler like dynamics further colour the fevered affair.

The following Portal to Hell is creative mayhem from the first second, rhythms jabbing with relish as Cheatwood announces his throaty demon. Soon a muggy start, it subsequently clears as a melody sizzles, it in turn relaxing as madness boldly simmers before infesting the song’s eruption with a legion of styles and flavours at its merciless fingertips. Fondling the senses and thoughts with pleasure igniting insanity and psychosis loaded unpredictability, like Pere Ubu on LSD, the track is unfathomable glory. Again the former Be Bop Deluxe frontman in his latter solo era is reminded of at times but only in something so unique to Bastards Of Fate it too is hard to believe.

To be honest numerous artists are nudged into suggestion across Suck The Light Out but none are truly accurate clues to the beautiful absurdness and imagination bursting fun on offer, next up Dark Matter pushing XTC and The Residents as possible references yet neither really fitting the maze of metal and heavy rock growling upon the song’s indie and pop sculpted landscape, a pasture in a constant flux of broken normality.

Through the relatively stable stroll of Book of Lies, though a romp with volatility in every element from tenacious rhythms and synth spun poetic webbing to melodic suggestion and vocal paranoia laced reflection, and the vocal lamentation of Misanthropy, bewitchment and confusion collude in a lustful embrace of the continuing diversity and irrational lure of Suck The Light Out. All releases need numerous listens to truly get to grips with thoughts and emotions on what they offer and there is no doubt that this album needs it more than most with the pair of songs alone showing the increasing rewards to be gained.

From the captivation of Girlfren with its crystalline melodies and screwy charm to the slow funk swing of the rhythmically tribal and vocally weird Caligula, ears and pleasure are only further inflamed, the latter and our favourite track, a salaciously deranged waltz. Its majestic prowess and mental manipulation is matched by that of Supercollider, a frenzy of sound and energy bursting from calm if warped crooning like a dangerously corrupted Pryapisme; punk and psych rock just two flavours in the frantic dementia.

Unicorns in Love is instinctive Bastards of Fate twisted rock ‘n’ roll with Waste My Time backing up its raw captivation with its hazy hug of melody spun, scuzz kissed, Fleetwood Mac spiced beauty with Delk taking vocal lead; her delicious tones as mouth-watering as the sounds caressing her harmonic presence.

The album is closed by Meatstar, a celestial dirt ball of progressive and melodic intrigue again tempting comparisons but evading all with its uncompromising invention in a brewing cacophony of sonic drama and imagination driven refreshment. It quite simply sums up the album, something aggressively individual and hungrily entertaining not forgetting deliriously deranged.

Suck The Light Out is, as Bastards Of Fate, indeed Bedlam and simply one of the most striking and uncomfortably fun propositions in recent years.

Suck The Light Out is available now digitally and on vinyl through HHBTM Records from most online stores with a special limited vinyl edition including a bonus LP of alternate tracks through http://hhbtm.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsoffate

Pete RingMaster 25/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eureka California – Wigwam EP

With the success and acclaim of their last album, Versus, still pretty much ringing in ears since its release just short of a year ago, US garage rock/pop duo Eureka California break up the  time before its successor with a new EP. Offering three slices of the band’s garage rock infused pop ‘n’ roll, the Wigwam EP is as sonically dysfunctional and magnetic as the Athens, Georgia hailing band’s last full-length but with a rawer quality which just hits the spot.

Wigwam is DIY old school, a flip back to the seventies with its design, recording, and release. Created with Dave Barbe (Sugar / Mercyland / Dave Barbe & the Quick Hooks) at his Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, the EP was recorded and mixed in just one afternoon. The two new songs and a cover of Superchunk’s Slack Motherfucker which emerged from that session come covered in self-made art and between them, band and HHBTM Records have set its price at virtually cost. It is a throwback in many ways to when passion and fans came first though fair to say, the music is the biggest pull with it.

The EP’s title track swiftly draws ears into its hands with a wash of initial sonic smog from which a rhythmic pulse begins laying down even richer bait. A single elegant melody soon wraps its charm around song and imagination too, another potent teaser heading towards the subsequent fuzzy squall of Jake Ward’s guitar and Marie A. Uhler’s stirring rhythmic enticement. As the former’s vocals make their plaintive case, the track’s energy and intensity begins to accelerate, its punk instincts rising for a tremendous crescendo of a finale.

With ease, Wigwam’s great start is matched by the scuzzy power pop of Only Birds (No Feathers). Within seconds Marie’s jabbing beats alone ensure the song has its hooks deep in a rock ‘n’ roll appetite, their nagging trespass surrounded by the hooks spilling exploits of Jake’s fuzz yielding strings. It is a commandingly catchy affair, a rousing incitement as seemingly familiar as it is certainly fresh and inescapable fun.

The final sonic roar of Slack Motherfucker is equally as captivating, Eureka California managing to give the track greater instinctive energy as well as melodic dexterity without defusing the causticity of the original. It is a fine end if over shadowed by the band’s original songs on Wigwam, itself a very intriguing teaser for what is to come in the future from Eureka California while being a highly satisfying romp for the now.

The Wigwam EP is out now on 7” vinyl through HHBTM Records.

http://eurekacaliforniaband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/eurekacalifornia     https://twitter.com/eurekacalifone

Pete RingMaster 25/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright