The Drolls


The Drolls Kick Out the Jammies / I Am a Data Scientist 7″

If you can’t rock, I guess you can try and be funny. If you can’t do either—ask to audition for the DROLLS! You’d fit right in. These two songs, referencing (in title only) MC5 and GUIDED BY VOICES respectively, had me following the run time as I listened. When there’s two songs each under three minutes, that’s kind of brutal. Musically, the tunes are forgettable. Compressed rock music that doesn’t have any heft to it and vocals way up front in the mix so you have to focus on the lyrics. And they’re supposed to be funny, but even in that department this release is limp. A track about being old and wanting to get in your jammies, and the other is about… I dunno, having a boring job? The B-side muses in the chorus, “I am a data scientist / It’s really not as cool as some insist.” Agreed. While this isn’t, like, offensively bad, it just sort of makes me wonder what’s the point? Comedy can be a great tool for tackling the mess of a world we live in. A lot of my favorite bands often get mislabeled with the “comedy band” signifier (most notably the DEAD MILKMEN, whose songs are often funny but go way deeper than just that). These tracks just sort of sit there and exist. They’re easily forgotten, or best yet ignored.

The Drolls That Puget Sound LP

It would be easy to say this is Denny and Josh from SICKO playing pretty similar stuff, leave it at that, and not be wildly off the mark. That would be unfair to not just the other band member but the band as a whole because this doesn’t sound stale or rehashed (that joke comes later). This is fresh, catchy punk that leans pretty heavily on power pop and late ’80s alternative. More LEMONHEADS than the NERVES, but with melodic hooks that drive clean, well-crafted pop songs. Great record all around, and if you are going to cover your own song, definitely pick the one called “Rehashed.”