Sound Advice: The Dollyrots with The Two Tens 
and JetLab (March 21)

Pop Punk project The Dollyrots bring joy to the Southgate House Revival.

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click to enlarge The Dollyrots - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
The Dollyrots
Singer/bassist Kelly Ogden and guitarist Luis Cabezas first met as kids in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., near Tampa. Their friendship blossomed into both a romance and a musical relationship. The couple was attending college in Sarasota in 2000, playing in a band with some other friends, when George W. Bush won his first presidential election. Legend has it that the day Bush was declared the victor, Ogden and Cabezas pulled a big-time “fuck it!” and decided to leave their halfhearted dreams of earning degrees in biology and medicine (respectively) to pursue their full-fledged dreams of being full-time musicians, eventually moving their Pop Punk project, The Dollyrots, to Los Angeles to better accomplish their shared goals.

They received a good omen right after relocating; after recording and releasing an EP on their own, they responded to an audition and ended up appearing in a Hewlett-Packard ad. The group’s song “Feed Me, Pet Me” also appeared in the ad and led to a publishing deal. The buzz (aided by spins on L.A. radio) drew the attention of labels, with the duo ultimately signing with Panic Button Records (the label started by members of Screeching Weasel), which was owned by Lookout! Records (the Punk label most famous for releasing early Green Day recordings). The band’s debut full-length, Eat My Heart Out, was released in 2004, offering most of the general public its first listen to the band’s well-crafted, high-energy brand of guitar-based Pop Rock. After appearing with Joan Jett on the Warped Tour a couple of years later, The Dollyrots moved to Jett’s Blackheart Records for its second album, Because I’m Awesome, which, along with frequent touring, increased the band’s profile exponentially. 

After another album for Blackheart, The Dollyrots went back to its DIY roots and discovered the benefits of crowd funding. The band’s self-titled 2012 album was its first fully funded by fans (via Kickstarter) and first full-length for its own Arrested Youth Records. The group switched to using PledgeMusic for each of its albums since. 

The couple has had two children since 2014’s Barefoot and Pregnant, never missing a beat — their son’s new sister is joining the band on the road for the first time on its current tour — and occasionally (as that album title suggests) working parental concerns into the lyrics while retaining their clever, winking approach. The band’s new album, Whiplash Splash, finds The Dollyrots as animated and jubilant as ever, pumping out smile- and head-bop-inducing slices of unabashed Pop (even daring to tackle ’80s hit “Walking On Sunshine”), one after the other. If current events have you down, let The Dollyrots pull you back up with their charming song nuggets of joy.

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