Psychobilly. By its very name it's a kick in the pants, an emphatic wallop that metes out harmony between the greasers and punks by the thrum of standup bass. HorrorPops made a real impression with Hell Yeah, their Epitaph debut, and 2005's Bring It On! also delivers soundly. The band never gets carried away with establishing a rabid, rapid pace, or the genre's obsession with grabby ghouls and pools of blood. That stuff's in there, but it's cut with Patricia Day's endearing "girl group gone a little bad" lead vocals and dynamic songwriting that finds the most effective way to combine rockabilly thump with punk swagger, instead of the most obvious one. And HorrorPops aren't two-dimensional. While the cleverly self-referential stance of the Ramones and the Misfits forever lurks like a comforting shadow in the backgrounds of Bring It On!, "Hit 'n' Run" sounds like nothing less than an outtake from No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom and "Caught in a Blonde" is pretty straight-on punk revival. Likewise, "You vs. Me" has a slight new wave kick driving its punctuating guitar twangs. Those guitars are strong throughout, if just a little conventional -- Kim Nekroman and Geoff Kresge (Tiger Army's former bassist) unleash blasts of raucous punk or atmospheric creeping pluck as appropriate, but the whole band seems to realize it's the HorrorPops' frontwoman who's the star of this show. Day is just incredible. She's a precocious babydoll, a vengeful lover (in the '50s-style murder ballad "S.O.B.," she's ruthless), a bawdy bandleader. But most of all she's a fantastic bassist, the thumping strings of her upright leading her band along like bold page numbers in the corner of a nickel pulp novel.
Bring It On! Review
by Johnny Loftus