i hate the sound of guitars

an expat dc punk in massachusetts

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The Dollyrots – Because I’m Awesome

30 Nov 2007 · No Comments

Dollyrots - Because I'm Awesome
2007 is the year that I started listening to music mostly on computers. My office-mate persuaded me to experiment with iTunes, and I started using its rating system to help me assemble the inevitable year’s best list. Then I discovered last.fm and let it track my listening patterns.

The upshot of all this is that The Dollyrots’ Because I’m Awesome has gotten lots of play this year, and I keep upgrading the ratings of individual tracks. First I crushed on the title song, which I think exemplifies the band’s core strength, Kelly Ogden’s nuanced vocals. Uptop she’s all bluster and bravado, but there’s a subtext of vulnerability. It’s as if somewhere inside this strong, confident personality there’s an element of the nervous gas-masked rabbit from the slightly creepy cover art, and that provides the depth that I think separates The Dollyrots from the rest of the pop-punk pack. Of course, there’s also the slamming production team of John Fields, Jacques Wait and Kenny Laguna, who collectively pull off an everything louder than everything else hat-trick: massive drums, huge guitars, and powerful vocals.

“On Our Way Out of L.A.” also caught my ear early on, not least because it mentions “the Abbey Lounge in Boston,” a locale dear to my heart. Then “My Best Friend’s Hot” and “Cat Calling” took their turn. Together they’re the flip side of the title tune; the insecurity expressed by their lyrics is belied by the exuberance of the performances. Most recently, the lion’s share of spins have been going to “A Desparate S.O.S.” a super-kinetic, paranoiac rant that’s a bit like R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” on speedballs.

So basically, nearly half the disc consists of year’s-best list candidates. And the year isn’t over yet, either.

Tags: d · pop-punk

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