[26 February 2014]
Barefoot and Pregnant is another onslaught of spunky bubblegum punk from LA’s the Dollyrots. If the very idea of “bubblegum punk” makes you want to choke a marmoset (or, better yet, Billie Joe Armstrong), take a deep breath; the Dollyrots’ blend of hooks, melody, and aggression is much more of a garage-rock throwback than a cynical, Blink-182ish attempt to mask lazy songwriting with overdrive (for proof, they close the set with a blended cover of “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “I Wanna Be Sedated”). Besides, these are some damn catchy songs; check your pulse if you don’t find yourself bopping along to “Stupidly in Love”, “Get Weird”, “Nightlight” and the glorious “Bury Me in Ireland”.
The album, their fifth, is loaded with smirky humor, which doesn’t always work—“First World Anarchist” is more odd than hilarious, and singer/bassist Kelly Ogden’s use of social media-age slang (“I’ve got these feels”) is more distracting than biting. But there’s more variety and nuance here than ever before; jokey hardcore runs seamlessly into mid-tempo stomps and bad-girl anthems, all powered by Luis Cabezas’ satisfyingly fuzzy guitars and delivered with an economy (13 songs in 37 minutes) that would have made Dee Dee and the boys proud. Barefoot and Pregnant is deeply hooky, melodic, wacky and at least as delightfully bratty as 2007’s Because I’m Awesome.