The Dollyrots – Daydream Explosion | SMALL RECORD REVIEWS


We’ve been more than familiar with the Californian duo of The Dollyrots for the last couple of years or so, but their history has spanned almost a whole two decades now, and miraculously – especially given the fact how tight they stick to their DIY roots, not to mention being a dedicated mum and pop – they are sure as hell showing no signs of slowing down.

For many months across series of endless late nights once daily family life closed, Kelly and Luis had been thoroughly grinding away on what is now their 8th full-length album, while battling some tough, emotionally-vindicating personal challenges along the way.

But now the light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching, with the final Wicked Cool-assisted result ready to be released to the world – Daydream Explosion – and hot damn, what a record we have on our hands here.

As always, their sound is that bubblegum-drizzled flavour of pop punk we’ve become so accustomed to, being presented over the course of 14 tracks, but despite the hefty amount, they keep them short and to the point so that they never outstay their welcome, plus they flow into each other with ease, keeping the pace going and never struggling to hold interest.

The highlights are many and fruitful. Animal is a bouncy, blistering opener that will get anybody fired up in no time flat, Flippy In My Red Dress is radically different from their usual stuff, with cool verses featuring this nifty, laidback yet enticing jazzy tone to it, but I Know How To Party has to be the best of the lot, being a wild blast that will spark a fierce adrenaline if, for whatever bizarre reason, that hadn’t happened already by this point.

Multiple selections such as Everything, Kat’s Meow and I Love You Instead keep at a high this sense of exuberant energy that is giddily intoxicating, reaching a haywire optimum with the catchy, high-octane choruses that quickly become addictive.

The writing is also consistently good, but especially nips our attention through the likes of In Your Face, Watching The Storm Go By and No Princess.

Given how long they’ve been striving, you would think that the group would surely be beginning to show some rust, chinks in the armour, or any signs of age? Nope, none of that is present whatsoever. Instead, they undoubtedly come forth with their A-games.

The always-smiling Kelly is on absolute form with a bright, powerful voice that is utterly loaded with passion and has you totally glued, while she keeps the rhythms going with nice bass work. Luis, in addition to contributing solid vocals of his own, elevates the dynamic element of the tunes with reliably superb riffs.

This is not to say by any means that they are anywhere near hanging up their boots, but normally when reaching a stage where bands are leaning towards the end of their heyday, the quality of content more often tends to slip, but here, that couldn’t be further from reality. On their 8th rodeo – not even taking into account the multiple EPs on top of that – The Dollyrots have again pulled it off the bag and delivered an exceptional record that might honestly be their best work to date, no joke.

Daydream Explosion is an album where Kelly and Luis take the standard that they have established from their discography and push it to the next level, in which the songs are front-loaded with exciting melodies, sweet lyrics, astonishing harmonies and kick-ass guitars. Everything feels so fine-tuned, and it’s only boosted by a fresh variety and this visibly underlying devotion to produce the best possible project.

It’s nothing short of awesome, but even more beyond that, we find it inspiring and have all the respect for the couple for never holding back in chasing their dreams. Despite how long they’ve been going for and not being signed to a major label for a big chunk of their lifespan, they are still giving it 200% to make a sustainable career for themselves and enjoy family life all the while.

To any underground bands and musicians reading this, The Dollyrots have proven it can be done, so what’s stopping you?



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