Pop-punk is a genre that has been around for a few decades, growing and changing with every new wave of bands, from GREEN DAY and BOWLING FOR SOUP to THE DOLLYROTS. The husband and wife team from Los Angeles have dedicated their lives to creating their own brand of pop-punk. Whiplash Splash is their sixth studio album, again funded by a crowdsourcing campaign, jam packed with their enthusiasm and joy.
Kelly Ogden’s cheerful voice opens up the album on I Do accompanied by a fast paced drum beat and guitar riffs. The song is one for listening to when sat out in the sun with a beer and singing along to the chorus – although arguably true of the whole album. Because I’m Blonde has a very catchy chorus that’ll have any fan singing along, and will be a sure winner when played live. The upbeat nature is juxtaposed with a sarcastic speaking part two thirds through which gives the track some depth to spring back with full strength. As the title suggests, it discusses all the assumptions that are made about blondes, but with Kelly’s strong willed attitude showing how incorrect these preconceptions can be. It is the highlight of the album.
This Addiction opens with a strong guitar riff, quickly joined by powerful vocals. This track is a little more sombre than most on the album, and the vocals are toned down to match this, fluctuating from gentle singing to almost whispering which is really poignant. City Of Angles is more punk than pop, and has a very familiar sound reminiscent of SUM 41 and the like, it would be at home in the 90s. At several points on Whiplash Splash, and specifically here, Kelly’s voice brings to mind Avril Lavinge’s in power, enthusiasm, and attitude.
Dance Like A Maniac is a true party anthem, with highs and lows, memorable speaking parts thrown in, and every possible ohh and ahh to sing along to. It is the most experimental with sound, both instrumental and vocally, but they’ve brought it all together in a way that really works. Dance Like A Maniac kicks the album up a notch with its diversity. In contrast, Jump Start This Heart is a gentler track, Kelly’s calm voice working its way around the lyrics is truly beautiful, and a pleasure to listen to. THE DOLLYROTS aren’t sticking to one sound, but showcasing a range of abilities which works in their favour for keeping the album moving and interesting to the listener.
The album draws to a close on Walking On Sunshine, originally by KATRINA AND THE WAVES, and perfectly sums up the party atmosphere and joyful enthusiasm of Whiplash Splash. It is a nice song to end the album on, because it’s an older song, and one everyone is familiar with, it feels like we’ve come full circle.
Whiplash Splash is another bundle of energy and joy from American team THE DOLLYROTS. A generally optimistic album, with a few more sombre tracks thrown in, a lot of work has clearly gone into choosing every note and every sound, but the end result is a joyous ball of enthusiasm which is great fun to listen to.
Whiplash Splash is set for release on March 24th via Arrested Youth Records.
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