THE DOLLYROTS – Hey Girl / I Touch Myself

Over the years, The Dollyrots have carved out a fine sound blending power pop melodies with pop punk-ish riffs. Their albums are home to some really sugary tunes, but thanks to some taut bass work and a constant nod back to the 90s and bands like Other Star People and The Muffs, their guitar driven pop/rock has never felt completely saccharine.

Their melodic chops really shine throughout ‘Hey Girl’, a bass driven rocker that blends big riffs and sassy vocals to create one of the finest Dollyrots tunes. From the opening bass riff where Kelly Ogden appears to hammer a deeper tone than before, there’s immediately the feeling of something special about to unfold and, sure enough, when the guitars arrive, the music takes on a near perfect power pop/bubblegum punk blend that allows Kelly an easy opportunity for a brilliantly sassy vocal. Via a pre-chorus loaded with muted chords, things ramp up a little more, and hitting the actual chorus, the vocals branch out to include much broader melodies that fall somewhere between the Josie & The Pussycats soundtrack meeting with early Avril Lavigne. In some ways, it sounds even more like a throwback than earlier Dollyrots material, but that’s more than fine when the tune is so infectious. For those looking for extra quirks, a festive sounding middle eight is filled by a near spoken vocal and a raft of Christmas bells, before another outing of that massive hook sends the tune over the finish line with a few extra whoahs for good measure. In short, for the Dollyrots fan, it’s an instant classic.

Adding extra value, the 7” release is backed by a spot on cover of The Divinyls’ ‘I Touch Myself’, and there’s every chance that this recording could eclipse the original. The main thing in its favour is a much better vocal. Kelly’s sweet pop sounds are easier on the ear than Chrissie Amphlett’s trademark half-croon, but the music, too, takes on a much slicker approach. It’s great to hear a nod to The Cars in a couple of the muted riffs in the lead up to the saucy chorus, and lurking in the back, you’ll find a warbling 80s-centric keyboard that sounds like the ghost of Greg Hawkes has passed through the studio. It would be remiss to suggest that Kelly and fellow Dolly Luis Cabezas have completely reworked the track in their own style, but it certainly benefits from the duo’s poppier charms.

Whether cranking their own riffs or working through a well remembered early 90s hit, The Dollyrots’ music hits the mark constantly here. Kelly’s vocals have rarely sounded better, and Luis’s muted riffs give the relevant power to the pop whenever needed. This two tracker comes close to being the perfect Dollyrots 7” – grab it ASAP!

March 2023