Hippo Manchester
October 20, 2005


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HorrorPops, Bring It On!

Hellcat Records, 2005


HorrorPops can dress up their music with psychobilly dress and garage punk hair but that doesn’t change the fact that these kids are playing straight up rock and roll.

How straight up? Ignore for a moment how many songs are about a girl taking her bloody revenge on a lover who left her or a girl running out on a lover because feelings are creepy. These songs have a sort of sock-hop-at-Rock-High feel. Bring It On! starts out with punky anti-establishment “Freaks in Uniforms” — a cheery little anthem for the nonconformist. But then it dives right in to the screwed-by-love tracks with “Hit ‘N’ Run” which sounds like the sort of energetic pop that Gwen Stefani thinks she makes. Despite the snarls of lead vocalist Patricia Day, the music is relentlessly upbeat.

Actually, it’s this “say it loud” spirit that makes the HorrorPops so much bouncy fun. Whether Day is crooning that she is “Lost in your arms/ There goes my freedom” or telling the boy she’s cried over that he’s “Mean, mean man/ Selfish son of a bitch” she says it with the same woo-hoo-ness that you might say “free beer!” or “free lipgloss!” (something about Day’s voice makes you think she’d be equally excited about both). Then there are lines like “And you wanna hold hands/ in the cemetery…And everything is dark/ & kind of scary” that are so cutely peppy Day might as well be singing about how her boyfriend’s back, hey-la. Throw a spiked corset over the poodle skirt when you dance to this one.

— Amy Diaz