Helen Love - Pogo Pogo EP - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Helen Love - Pogo Pogo EP

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2014-09-01

I’m in love with Helen Love- the singer and her band. Confusing, I know, but like the old marketing slogan, “Blondie is a Group”, Helen Love is a Welsh trio, as well as its lead singer. She has the same record collection as me and namechecks most of it in her songs about J-Pop, bubblegum pop, John Peel, Debbie Harry, Ramones (she sang about Debbie and Joey and dueted with the latter), the 1910 Fruitgum Company, Rodney Bingenheimer, and many more cultural icons.

The band’s been around for over 20 years, have released dozens of singles, EPs, and albums across half a dozen labels and, like Rodney Dangerfield, still can’t get any respect. Maybe their cartoonish attempts to put some fun into rock 'n' roll have labeled them too gimmicky to be taken seriously, but thank God for their legion of cult fans (including yours truly) who lend enough support for them to keep churning out brilliant single after brilliant EP after brilliant album.

Their latest EP for their recent home of like-minded pure pop lovers over at Spanish imprint Elefant delivers more of their patented giddy electro-pop-punk. Dee Dee Ramone gets a namecheck in the lead track, which celebrates the art of jumping in place to the vibrant sounds of sweaty 70s/80s new wave and danceable pop-punk.

‘Make Up, Break Up’ is a typically breakneck rush of Ramonesy fluff, ‘Red Light’ speeds by in a haze of throbbing bass and power-punk buzzsaw guitars (while grabbing another Ramones lyric for good measure). This limited edition (500) EP ends with a brilliant tribute to that heartstopping feeling of buying a new single and getting it home and placing it on your turntable for the first time, ‘Julie’s Got a New 7-Inch Single’.

One of Johnny Rotten’s most famous utterances during The Sex Pistols’ heyday was something along the lines of “You remember what fun is, don’t you?” Thank God Helen Love does/do. This is what rock n roll should be: Fun, with the occasional reverential acknowledgement of your inspirations. Hopefully a full-length follow-up to last year’s essential Day-Glo Dreams won’t be too far behind.

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