The Dollyrots are getting ready to drop their latest offering, “Night Owls”, slated for release on October 13 through Wicked Cool Records. For those who’ve been closely following the band’s journey, this album marks a noteworthy moment. It feels like just yesterday when fans were soaking in the energy of their previous album – a time that predates the world-changing events of the pandemic. It’s hard to believe that it’s been this long since the band’s last full-length album, especially when considering the seismic shifts in the world since then.
In their quest to bring fresh tracks to their dedicated audience, The Dollyrots have once again teamed up with John Fields, a name synonymous with noteworthy productions. Fields, whose portfolio boasts collaborations with names like Jimmy Eat World, All Time Low, and Meet Me At the Altar, is no stranger to the unique energy and style of The Dollyrots.
Holding the reins on the majority of the production for “Night Owls”, it’s evident that the band is keen on keeping that signature sound which Fields has so masterfully helped craft in their past collaborations. Though, that sound is still there, for me, I’ve noticed some either some very small intentional shifts. Which I’m here for!
From the moment “5+5” starts playing, I’m transported straight into The Dollyrots’ vibrant pop-punk realm. Those thundering drums and that infectious guitar slide don’t just set the mood; they pull me headfirst into the track’s energetic core, right out the gate.
What strikes me about this song isn’t just its invigorating sound but also its heartfelt message. It’s a refreshing take on love, celebrating the quirks and peculiarities of a significant other. Instead of presenting these as flaws, the song reveals how they often become the very reasons we’re drawn to someone. This message is as refreshing as it is relatable, offering a perspective that feels both genuine and uplifting. Which is what we want from The Dollyrots. Fun, Punk, music.
“I Just Wanna Play Dead” hits you with these great riffs. It’s infectious, and there’s no escaping the tune’s catchy rhythm. The track carries a nostalgic essence, reminiscent of the golden era of rock and roll. And woven within its beats, I sense a whisper of surf rock, which isn’t overpowering but adds a distinctive flavor.
The song beautifully captures the essence of those lazy mornings we’ve all had. You know, the ones where the world’s chaos feels miles away, and all you want is to stay wrapped in the sheets, savoring every moment with someone close. Or if you’re like me, it’s just feels far, far too cold to get out of bed. But it’s not just about the inertia; it’s about relishing those undisturbed moments, feeling the weight of the world lift, even if it’s just for a little while.
“Night Owl”, the album’s second single, is a playful nod to those of us who’ve always felt more alive in the moonlight. It’s a tune that taps into the essence of those twilight hours, capturing the allure of the night. When you’re part of a touring band like The Dollyrots, the night isn’t just a backdrop; it’s an old friend, a time of day synonymous with gigs, road trips, and backstage moments.
However, as many punk rockers have grown a bit older, the definition of being a “night owl” has evolved. It’s like while the spirit of punk rock remains unyielding, the routines have changed. Some might now opt for an early night, only to rise in the wee hours, embracing the quietude of 2 AM starts.
This shift in schedule doesn’t take away from the essence of being a night owl; it merely adds a fresh perspective. It’s reminiscent of Fat Mike’s quip, “Punk rock doesn’t get old, it just goes to bed at a more reasonable hour.” So I guess when you start going to bed so early you can still somewhat see the sun, by the time you awake, you’re still going to be a Night Owl.
“Hot Mom With The Skinny Pants On” brings a unique flavor to the “Night Owls” album. This track appears to be a lighthearted nod to the punk rock parents who’ve still got their groove. It celebrates the idea that having a family doesn’t mean letting go of your cool factor. If anything, it adds another layer to it.
The tune paints a picture of the school gates scene, where a punk rock parent turns heads and breaks the mold. It’s a fun spin on the age-old theme of parental pride, all wrapped up in the signature Dollyrots’ energy. A great track that plays with expectations and delivers with style.
Sliding into the album’s progression, “When We’re Sober” offers a timely change of pace. While it dials down the tempo, it doesn’t skimp on the unmistakable Dollyrots charm that we have come to adore. Positioned aptly, this track feels like a moment of introspection amid the album’s lively path that it’s taking.
The song carries an underlying message that seems to resonate with many of us. It subtly touches on the idea of enjoying life’s celebrations but with a hint of caution. It’s like the band is giving a gentle reminder that while letting loose is all part of the fun, there’s value in finding balance and savoring moments of clarity. In the grand scheme of “Night Owls”, this track stands out, offering both a melodic reprieve and a moment of reflection, all wrapped up in that quintessential Dollyrots flair.
Stepping into the spotlight with a catchy opening bassline, “Hey Girl” immediately sets its own tone. The song carries an intriguing blend of influences that, for those who’ve been around the musical block a time or two, might feel somewhat nostalgic. It’s as if the track’s DNA has strands of early 2000s street punk meshed with hints of soft pop, creating a unique sound.
Getting into the more intimate side of their music, The Dollyrots introduce “Trees Sway,” a track that undeniably stands apart in the “Night Owls” lineup. This acoustic ballad, with its gentle melodies, offers a refreshing contrast to the band’s typically upbeat anthems.
The beauty of The Dollyrots has always been their ability to craft music that resonates deeply, whether it’s through high-energy punk tracks or introspective ballads. “Trees Sway” is a shining example of this range, highlighting their capability to evoke various emotions. This song exudes a warmth and sincerity that captures the essence of The Dollyrots – a band not just about exhilarating tunes but also about moments of reflection and connection.
With a title like “Irish Goodbye”, my curiosity was immediately piqued. Being of Irish descent, the phenomenon of loved ones suddenly departing without a word is all too familiar. It’s a cultural quirk that can often leave others scratching their heads, but to those in the know, it’s a characteristic exit.
Diving into the album, The Dollyrots have continuously showcased their eclectic tastes, touching upon various punk styles. With this in mind, “Irish Goodbye” sparked a question: Were they leaning into a Celtic punk direction? And to some degree, they did. The track opens with hints of Celtic instrumentation, evoking imagery of rolling green landscapes and lively pub gatherings. Throughout, there are elements that could easily find a home in a Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly record.
The song isn’t just a musical treat; it’s also a clever play on its title. In a delightful twist, in a way, “Irish Goodbye” wraps up in the very manner it describes, making its exit without overstaying its welcome. It’s these touches of humor and homage to cultural nuances that make this track stand out and easily one of the highlights of “Night Owls”.
Jumping into “Night Owls”, it’s evident The Dollyrots haven’t lost a step. Picking up seamlessly from the momentum of “Daydream Explosion” – a record that was nothing short of stellar – this album dials up the energy, setting the dial firmly at 11.
What’s especially striking about this album is its richness in diversity. At its heart, it’s undeniably pop punk, but it doesn’t confine itself to a singular sound. Each track brings its own flair, with subtle tweaks and shifts that keep the listening experience fresh from start to finish. It’s not just about creating catchy tunes (though there are plenty); it’s about exploring the vast landscape of punk and all its various sub-genres. You might have to look for it, but you’ll find it.
It’s tempting to say that there’s “something for everyone” here, but it’s true. “Night Owls” serves as a musical buffet, offering up tastes of different styles, though it’s not too heavy or a major shift in their sound by any means. Whether you’re a die-hard punk fan of all flavors or someone just dipping their toes into the genre, this album has a track that will resonate. The Dollyrots have crafted yet another unforgettable album.