What the hell is pop/punk, anyway? Wasn't punk originally a coup d'état against bloated pop stars? Well, if there is such a thing as pop/punk, The Dollyrots are it. Think the soda-pop effervescence of Belinda Carlisle's Go-Go's surgically sutured to Nirvana's jagged harmonics. The L.A. trio's single "Because I'm Awesome" -- released by Joan Jett's Blackheart label -- is, in fact, a Nirvana Lite sequel to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," with singer/bassist Kelly Ogden yelping "I always tell you how great you smell/It's 'cause I'm naturally deodorized."
Speaking of fragrances, it doesn't help that "Awesome" was selected by Kohl's to anchor one of the department-store chain's teenybopper-fashionista commercials, but the band does have one smokin' ace up its sleeve in Ogden, a stage-stalking, bass-thrashing siren with a rare sort of presence.