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Hell Yeah! (Hellcat)

Hellcat Records, home to Denmark's Horrorpops, has released a lot of junk. Aside from a few decent ska discs, most of the catalog is either overproduced street punk (à la label head Tim Armstrong's Rancid) or hackneyed psychobilly. And the Horrorpops are junk too, but not stinky, useless scraps -- more like a rare Pee-wee Herman doll at the dump.

This is surely the most blatant attempt by the label to produce a hit. The majority of Hell Yeah! is indistinguishable from No Doubt -- all pep and girly chirp on top of a punky swing rhythm. But this band is made up of European psychobilly vets -- a scene that stands on hash-toking good times -- so there's a knowing silliness throughout that suits such cheesy costuming. Cutesy tunes with titles like "Girl in a Cage" and "Psychobitches Outta Hell" bounce around on slapped, stand-up bass, barking background vocals, funny broken-English lyrics, and sugary ska beats. Unlike labelmate Tiger Army's pathetic tough-guy stance, Horrorpops is all gags. Tired gags, but with this ceaselessly cartoonish genre, laughs are preferable to testicles.

More by Eric Davidson


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