MONSTERS AND CRITICS
The Dollyrots put off
a vibe that just yells, “Screw playing perfectly...let's rock!”
After an entire week of hearing earnest, melodic Brit-pop, twangy country rock and solo acoustic acts, it was finally time to get a sampling of the alternative acts rolling through South By Southwest (SXSW). My first musical love will always be punk rock, as it's raw, dirty, honest style has always appealed to me, and so it was good to be able to get back to my roots.
In order to accomplish
my goal, I made my way down a crowded 6th street, filled with pirates,
men wearing pickle suits and as many shades of hair color as there
are types of Skittles. Strolling up to Emo's, the premiere punk-rock
venue in Austin, several extremely long lines were beginning to form
around the back entrance. The posted flyers told me that tonight would
be the big Blackheart Records showcase featuring well-known punk bands
The Dollyrots, Girl In A Coma and the Vacancies.
What set The Dollyrots apart from so many other well-known punk acts that I've seen, is that their desire to have a blast on stage overshadows the simplicity of their songs. Kelly, Luis and Chris put off a vibe that just yells, “Screw playing perfectly...let's rock!” The crowd definitely picked up on this, and all I could see behind me was a mass of bobbing heads and thrusting fists as the set went on.At the end of the set, as The Dollyrots pounded out the anthem “Because I'm Awesome”, the title track from their recently released album of the same name, the energy level of the room increased ten-fold. As the last note shot out of the band's equipment, Black leaped over his drums and tackled Cabezas to the ground. Getting in on the fun, Kelly dog-piled on top of her band mates and all three began furiously wiggling around. It was a fitting end to a set filled with infectious pop punk.
I came away that night with a better understanding of why Blackheart Records was created. The label really seems to want to put the fun back into punk rock, where it should be. If it means that I get to see more bands like Girl In A Coma and The Dollyrots, then I agree wholeheartedly.
‘Because I’m Awesome’ is now available at Amazon. Visit the music database for more information and a link to M&C’s review of the album. Check back with M&C for more coverage of SXSW – including a concert review of Redman. Visit M&C's music features section for our exclusive interview with Kelly O. of The Dollyrots, Aqualung, and Ari Hest. Visit M&C's music reviews section for our exclusive SXSW concert reviews of Ari Hest, Joe Purdy, White Rabbits, Star Deaths and White Dwarfs, and Nicole Atkins.