The DeRellas hail from London, England and are reminiscent of the class of ’77 sound of punk. Instantly memorable – the songs are fast, furious, and instant classics. The band returns with a mini album recorded in the wake of some lineup changes, and is the 1st to feature singer Stevie D and Bish on the drum kit. Former vocalist Robbie DeRella (Vibrators) gave the tunes a slightly organic feel, whilst Stevie D gives the songs a sunny, California punk sheen. Dare I say it, sometimes reminding me of early Green Day. Any music that conjures up visions of the beach is a sure-fire winner with me – and The DeRellas deliver in spades. It’d be easy to write them off as rehashing a sound that sounded fresh with the original wave of punk – but it simply is not the case. The band takes that pop punk sound and makes it all their own. A truly invigorating mini album, I’ve had Freakshow on repeat for quite some time now (this review is very delayed).
Rip It Up is an unholy mix of the Sex Pistols and Generation X – and is the perfect song to open the album with. “Rip it up / do it again”. A statement of intent. A statement of aggression. A blistering guitar riff half way through marries a bit of classic rock to the punk rock assault. The riff reappears during the noisy outro. Strung Out Sin City is about the most rock ‘n’ roll song title I’ve ever heard. Fortunately the song lives up to its description – a sing a long pop punk ode to destruction. “strung out sin city / burned out, it ain’t pretty”. Soho Hotel is a perfect pop punk anthem with perhaps the catchiest chorus on the album. Freakshow is the title track and is my favorite song on the album. The lower end of the mix is more prominent here, making it a fuller assault to the senses. I still feel like this when I go out to shows (which I do often). “I just wanna go / to the freakshow”. How about these lyrics? “Sometimes I love you baby / sometimes i hate you darling”. Funny, yet cutting. Perfection. Dress Up Mess Up is the last original on the album and another slice of punk perfection. The album closes with a cover of Adam and the Ants Plastic Surgery. I can’t think of a better way to close out this record. Menacing and playful, The DeRellas imbue the song with a renewed sense of urgency.
You can pick up the album on CD or slime green vinyl here. You’ll love it, I guarantee it.
Verdict: Punk Classic
For Fans of: Sex Pistols, Green Day, The Clash, Dead Boys, NOFX