The Dollyrots

Dolly-06The Dollyrots are an American pop/punk band formed by childhood friends Kelly Ogden (vocals, bass) and Luis Cabezas (guitar) in 2000 in their native Florida.Dolly-02 They relocated to and are, currently, based in Los Angeles, CA. My introduction to The Dollyrots‘ catchy pop/punk was when I first heard their song “Because I’m Awesome” in a back-to-school commercial for Kohl’s department stores in 2007. The band appears, briefly, in the 30-second spot, too. But, since then, their music has been used in dozens of films and TV shows, like Bring It On: Fight to the Finish (2009), Easy A (2010), ABC Family‘s Greek, ABC‘s Ugly Betty, The CW‘s The Vampire Diaries, and others. Adorable singer Kelly Ogden even appeared on an episode of CBSCSI:NY as the bassist of a fictional band, Rough Sects. Kelly will also appear, as herself, in the upcoming film Girltrash: All Night Long, which was written by Angela Robinson, who also wrote and directed the action/comedy D.E.B.S. (2004). So, first, watch that Kohl’s commercial here:


The Dollyrots‘ full-length debut, “Eat My Heart Out” (2004), was not a giant leap for pop/punk, but it was a lot more fun to listen to than whatever Blink-182 or Sum 41 had out at that time.Dolly-2004 Kelly Ogden’s sweetly snotty vocals make tracks like “Kick Me To The Curb” and “Wreckage” stand out, but “Love You Most,” “Jackie Chan,” “Nobody Else,” and a punky cover of The Ronnettes‘ “Be My Baby,” are all good, too. The band’s second album, “Because I’m Awesome” (2007), was the first to be released on Joan Jett‘s Blackheart Records label. Ogden slipped a CD of her band’s music to Joan Jett while The Dollyrots were on the Vans Warped Tour with her, and she signed them. Anyway, “Because I’m Awesome” was more of the same,Dolly-2007 but a little better. The absurdly catchy title track, obviously, made the band some new fans thanks to the Kohl’s spot (me included), but other tracks were also highly addictive, like “My Best Friend’s Hot,” “Out of L.A.,” “17,” “Watch Me Go (Kissed Me, Killed Me),” and a punky cover of Melanie‘s “Brand New Key.” Then, on the holiday compilation “A Blackheart Christmas” (2008), The Dollyrots covered Eartha Kitt‘s sultry “Santa Baby.” Is The Dollyrots‘ version as sexy? No, it’s not, but spin their awesome rendition at your next holiday party and your guests will be slamdancing around the Christmas tree soon enough. Watch the videos for “Because I’m Awesome” and “Brand New Key” here:



The Dollyrots‘ follow-up on Blackheart Records, “A Little Messed Up” (2010), was criticized by some for being too much pop, not enough punk. Maybe, whatever. This album is punk enough and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best of all of their albums. Or, if not the best, my favorite.Dolly-2010 “Rock Control” opens the album with Kelly declaring: “Oh, just try to scream along / This is not rock & roll / It’s rock control.” Then, the band takes control of your rock for 48 minutes (with bonus tracks)! In “Some Girls,” Kelly innocently tells us: “Some girls will and some girls wanna / Some girls might and some girls are gonna / But I don’t, I don’t, I don’t.” I want to believe her. Then, our adorable punk girl falls for a “California Beach Boy.” I love the first line: “I went down to Venice Beach / Dirty Converse walking down the street.” Chicks in Chucks are as cool as chicks who rock, and chicks in Chucks who rock, like Kelly Ogden, are even better! “Rollercoaster” is, true to the criticism, more pop, less punk. But, so what, I still love it, in all it’s Ally & A.J.-ish glory. Next up is “My Heart Explodes,” my favorite track, in which Kelly sings so sweetly:Dolly-02 “You know I can’t keep calm / Hearing that sound, you know I go crazy / Making me wanna dance with you, baby, ooh.” That’s exactly how I feel when I listen to this album! In the title track, Kelly admits her boyfriend is a bad boy: “Yeah, I know you’re a little messed up / They all say you’re damaged goods, baby.” But, she “can’t stand being apart.” But, bad is better than cute and dumb. In “Dumb,” a B-side, she sings, “Yeah, you’re super fun / But you’re dumb, dumb, dumb,” then adds: “And I’m done with dumb.” That song, by the way, sounds like a 70’s power pop classic that never was. “California” is a love letter to the Golden State.Dolly-06 “Coming After You” is the snottiest, most punk track here: “So done with playin’ nice, yeah / Do you hear me?” I do, Kelly, but you’re just too damn sweet and adorable! But, in “Let’s Be in Love,” she spits on her innocence: “So let’s be in love / In the bedroom, let’s go boom boom.” Bonus tracks include punky covers of The Turtles‘ “Happy Together” and Bobby Darin‘s “Dream lover.” The Dollyrots, at this time, also recorded a badass cover of Joan Jett‘s “Bad Reputation,” which is on the soundtrack to the movie Easy A (2010). OK, I’ve said way too much! Watch the video for “Rollercoaster” here:


The Dollyrots left Blackheart Records, amicably, and, in 2011, released a 3-song EP, “Arrested Development,” the first on their own Arrested Development label. The band also collaborated with fellow pop/punkers Bowling for Soup on a split EP, “The Dollyrots vs. Bowling for Soup,” on which each band covered 2 of the other’s songs; and with Bowling for Soup and Patent Pending on a split album, “One Big Happy!”Dolly2012 Then, in late 2011, The Dollyrots turned to Kickstarter to finance their fourth album. They raised their goal in one day, via fan donations, and five times as much a month later. The resulting album, “The Dollyrots,” was released in 2012. Now, if some criticized their previous album for being too poppy, well, then some definitely won’t like this one! But, again, it’s punk enough for me with tracks like the infectious “I Wanna Go,” the Nirvana-ish “Satellite,” the Go-Go’s-esque “Hyperactive,” the Cheap Trick-like “F U Famous,” and an unnecessary re-recording of “Because I’m Awesome.” In “Pretty on the Outside,” Kelly wonders: “If she swallows her make-up / Will it make her pretty on the inside?” Philosophers will debate that conundrum for years to come, so watch some videos here:



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Also check out the trailer for Girltrash: All Night Long (a lesbian rock musical!):

Website: Dollyrots Official Website

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6 responses to “The Dollyrots

  1. Pingback: Welcome to my (new) blog! | My Heart Explodes·

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  5. Pingback: The Dollyrots « Girls, Guns & Zombies!·

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