Hellcat Records, 2004
REVIEW BY: Jedediah Pressgrove
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/18/2011
I can’t help but like the HorrorPops, a Danish band that dabbles in psychobilly, punk, and rock 'n’ roll. Lead singer Patricia Day plays upright bass and is like a more dangerous version of Gwen Stefani. Her husband and lead guitarist Kim Nekroman once fashioned a bass from a child’s coffin for his other band, Nekromantix. Day and Nekroman, along with drummer Henrik Niedermeier, became popular as the HorrorPops in Copenhagen with songs like “Ghouls” and “Psychobitches Outta Hell.” All in all, they're a wholesome group for the family, assuming your family is crazy.
What’s funny is that the band merely flirts with horror themes. “Ghouls” isn’t about the undead: “They’re always there to buy me a drink / They’re always there to drive me home / But their hands always kind of slips / From my shoulders down to my tits.” I find it clever that Day compares douchebags to the living dead (I also like how she sings “tits”). Less clever is “What’s Under My Bed,” which concerns being afraid of the dark.
The HorrorPops work best when they hit the ground running. Day’s bass sets the tone for “Drama Queen,” a blinding ditty with a remarkable chorus: “You fall in love too hard too much / You fall out of love too hard too soon.” Day pretty much sings the chorus one word at a time, accentuating the pace of the song. It’s rather infectious.
Like “Drama Queen,” “Where They Wander” jumps into the tune and doesn’t let up. Day is at her best as a singer on this track; she sounds like she’s about to punch out someone’s teeth. Lyrically, “Where They Wander” is one of the stronger songs on Hell Yeah! It’s a combination of George A. Romero metaphors and the story of how Day and Nekroman got together.
The main weakness of Hell Yeah! is its second half. “Kool Flattop” involves exactly what the title says (i.e., a very thin concept), but the song drags at three minutes. Tracks like “Psychobitches Outta Hell” and “Emotional Abuse” don’t have the fast tempo that serves the best material on this album so well (plus, “Emotional Abuse” is a bit off-putting and whiny for a band that also does “Drama Queen”). Thankfully, “Dotted With Hearts,” which hearkens back to 1950s rock n’ roll, and “Horrorbeach,” a fun surf rock instrumental, somewhat redeem the second half.
Hell Yeah! isn’t original or thoughtful, but it has enough energy and attitude to hold my attention. And while the HorrorPops were popular in Copenhagen, more than likely you’re not going to hear them on the radio. Too bad. The United States rock scene is often in need of an unpretentious good time.
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