Aside from the annoying vocal, non-lyrical noises made by Patricia throughout the first track on “Bring It On!”, the Horrorpops make a strong case for the first major derivation from the too-similar sound achieved by all the upright-bass bands (Nekromantix, Tiger Army). There are still a number of similiarites that the Horrorpops have with the other two bands, especially since Kim Nekroman is doing eir part with the guitars on this disc. The disc’s second track “Hit’N’Run” takes equal parts “Tragic Kingdom”-era No Doubt and 45 Grave to create this track, which comes through as a musical cousin to acts like Balzac. The walking bass line (which seems to be drawn from a ska lineage rather than coming from the forehead of bluegrass, provides listeners with another slice of the Horrorpops’ diverse sound during “It’s Been So Long”.
While everything that had preceded “Undefeated” on “Bring It On!” had been compelling and radio-friendly in its own right, it is during “Undefeated” that the Horrorpops can be said to have their first hit. The less-rockabilly sounds of the guitars (which opt to go into a more-simplistic and catchy punk arrangement for the track) really prove themselves to be the sweet medicine that the band needs to connect to the largest amount of listeners. The same general “gothabilly” sound comes back in a strong way during “Crawl Straight Home”, but the Horrorpops are intelligent enough to vary their sound and only tap that well a few times throughout this disc. What had killed the enjoyment of “III: Ghost Tigers Rise” (by Tiger Army) was the fact that the focus was too narrow.
The Horrorpops during “Bring It On!” skillfully fuse together punk, goth, ska, rockabilly and alt-rock to make something that is eminently enjoyable, fun, and musically sound. The dual-harmonies achieved like “Walk Like A Zombie” is as much of a guilty enjoyment as the Beach Boys tracks which it seems to draw influence off of; there is more than a little bit of surf-rock present in the guitars and arrangements on this track. Tracks like “Where You Can’t Follow” really do not further the disc in any specific way, but capture the same energy and spirit as the rest of the tracks of the disc. Where the band makes “Bring It On!” worthwhile is their skillful incorporation of the hair metal and new romantic genres during “Caught In A Blond”, a track in which Patricia recalls Lita Ford and Vixen for a snotty yet sultry time.
Top Tracks: Caught In A Blond, Hit’N’Run
Horrorpops – Bring It On! / 2005 Hellcat / 13 Tracks / http://www.horrorpops.com / http://www.epitaph.com / Reviewed 05 September 2005