The Dollyrots
Barefoot and Pregnant
(Arrested Youth Records)

Punk has been given a much-needed shot of adrenaline by The Dollyrots. With their fifth studio album, Barefoot and Pregnant scheduled to drop in February, this trio will definitely be a band to watch in 2014. In the vein of Eat My Heart Out and Because I’m Awesome, founding members Kelly Ogden (vocals/bass) and Luis Cabezas (guitar), once again return to their punk rock roots. The result of their efforts is a fun and edgy record that has been carefully thrown together in a way that takes planning and forethought, but does not sacrifice artistic freedom and creativity. It’s good old-fashioned gritty three-chord rock and roll with all the stylistic trappings of the pop-punk genre that fans have come to know and love. From start to finish The Dollyrots will have listeners bobbing their heads, and perhaps even getting up to play some serous air guitar and pogo around their rooms.

While the band names the early works of The Ramones and The Beatles amongst their greatest influences, opening track, “Come and Get It” also possesses noticeable elements of acclaimed girl groups from the ’50s and ’60s, with melodic harmonies in the chorus and bridge. This mixes nicely with the fast tempos and distorted guitars.

“First World Anarchist” gives an inspired nod to the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK.” After all, punk rock is anarchy! However, The Dollyrots take this opportunity to make a political statement about first world problems and the ridiculousness of so many issues that people who are comfortable in life consider to be anarchy. Filled with satire and irony, and some highly enjoyable guitar work, this is a track not to be missed.

“Get Weird” is a great romantic tune with some emo flavoring. The track kicks off with a ballsy baseline and a strong back beat that is carried throughout the song as guitars are added. At its most basic level, it’s about a chick that is “out of her mind” for a guy with “real issues.” But since she’s so in love, she poses the simple question, “Come get weird with me, honey?”

Musically, “Barefoot and Pregnant” is a standout track. It’s the type of song that one would expect to find on a punk record – loud and distorted guitars, crazy Dead Kennedy inspired drumming from Stacy Jones, and deliciously angry vocals from Ogden as she recants some of her frustrations while expecting.

“Worstie” is a catchy tune about what happens when a best friend falls out of favor, and the impending revenge that is sure to follow.

The album slows down a bit for “Nightlight.” In a recent interview, Ogden admitted to penning the lyrics when she was missing her family, and thinking about having a baby. It’s a poignant song about missing the people you love.

Finally, the album ends with an energetic montage of The Crystals “Da Doo Ron Ron” and The Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated.” This isn’t just another cover of two songs that have been over played. The Dollyrots singlehandedly reinvent these songs for the 21st century! Keep an ear out for a second version of this track that is expected to pop up later next year with a third, secret, song added into the mix!

Barefoot and Pregnant is a highly enjoyable album. As this band continue hone their craft and make a name for themselves in the music industry, expect to see them on tour all over the country. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2014 is the year of the horse. But terms of punk rock, it is clearly the year of The Dollyrot. (Kara Kulpa)

Purchase Barefoot and Pregnant here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thedollyrots

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