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Horrorpops 

Bring It On! (Hellcat)

On their 2004 debut, Hell Yeah!, the Horrorpops weren't exactly Fugazi. The album was like No Doubt's early, embarrassing ska minstrel shows, only the 'Pops promulgated a schmaltzy shockabilly act -- complete with colored mohawks, skull tattoos, and leather pants, a pose that afflicts many Rancidites who still think such Hot Topic gear is "street tough."

But with their sophomore slab, these Danish clowns find their true auditorium-exploding selves. Gone is most of the stupid ska and lyrical faux-fury, replaced with big groping guitar licks and revved-up sock-hop spooking. A willingness to downshift a gear into a love song and whiplash surprise endings to each tune prove that the 'Pops are well into a reinvention of themselves.

Usually, the band's straight-up rockisms and singer Patricia Day's decision to cool off on the girlie cooing would be considered a stripping-down of the band's sound, but it only makes the Horrorpops more accessible. Think a dopey, boppin' Siouxsie and the Banshees, with Rick Rubin panting in the wings to produce the next one.

More by Eric Davidson

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