‘Helen Love would like to thank you for your patience. This club is now open, please make your way to the glitter dancefloor, we hope you enjoy your night. Hey Ho! Let’s Go!’
At long last!!! Another Helen Love album!!!!! On bubblegum pink vinyl. The sort you’ll want to crank up ‘till the speakers explode.
It starts off with the genius It’s My Club which is a discotastic and interspersed with all these lovely little samples and stuff. Oooh isn’t it exciting?
Next we have Debbie Loves Joey which was on an earlier EP. It’s still the cutest teenage crush song in the world. Ever. They played this at a NYE party once, I was the only person dancing, I was so darned happy that I spilled all my drink. … he said they’ll live in New York, and the stars would be their own … she was Debbie Harry, and he was Joey Ramone!. No wonder Dave Gorman listed this as one of his favourite songs ever. It’s just so fantastic!
Dance on (Solid Gold) is your typical lovable Helen Love summer song. The kind of song you’ll need when you’re on a beach with a little boombox and all your favourite friends.
You Better Learn Karate! Helen Love like their Martial Arts, it seems. This song is fun and it will make you happy. Promise. 1910 Fruitgum Company is another song about bubblegum. You can’t have enough of those! Bubblegum & Summer = Awwwwww! (sorry I’m getting overly excited about this album and am a little lost for words. But this is sooo cool! No, really, this IS very cool!).
And of course there’s got to be a song about radio! Transistor Radio is this song, as far as this album is concerned. And boy, it’s catchy! (I’ll fall off my chair soon I think. It’s impossible to jump around and type at the same time, dammit). … Baby, all I’ll need tonight, is my transistor radio!.
Next on in this bubblegum punkpop box of tasty chocolates is Jet. In the chocolate box of life the top layer is already gone, and someone pinched the orange cream from the bottom…bloody hell!. How true, how very true. This has elements of Shaft! in it, somehow, only that it goes Jet!. And it sounds like an 80s post-Van Halen rock song in places. Hooray! (excuse me whilst I leap out of my chair for a second).
First Boyfriend is a story about first dates in 1978. I wasn’t even born then, but I can really see them, in their skinnyfit T-Shirts outside a 70s looking branch of Burger King, armed with Candy rings and whatnot. Somehow, Helen Love also like to write songs about kissing on nightbusses (this happens in Debbie Loves Joey also!), in an idealistic, twee kind of way. NOT getting stabbed on the 43 because you ask someone to not chuck chips at your friend. I think I’ll hold on to that thought.
(Now I am going to turn this beautiful piece of pink vinyl over. I shall do so very carefully and go ‘awwww this record is my friend’ while I do so!)
Rodneys English Disco plays prog rock on a Saturday night. Yikes. But, in another song in another world Helen Love accuse someone of going ‘on and on like a prog rock song, and nobody cares’. So that’s okay. It’s like those clubs where an ailing DJ plays the hits of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and NOW … hmmmm.
Honolulu Superstar is fast and in an ideal world, a crowd of really cool kids in flares and little T-shirts with invented retro sports club logos printed on them would riot nicely along a sparkly dancefloor.
Garagebox is about Superkay guitars, collecting records and being in a garage band over the summer. And listening to John Peel. Gina and her fuzzbox put in an appearance also (oh dear, I’ve gone to far, I keep seeing references to some very old Helen Love songs. I suspect I really do own the entire back catalogue. On all formats.). Yay!
Queen Of The Disco Beat. She is, of course, a bubblegum killer and listens to Solid Gold. When she isn’t dancing all night. Obviously. Pure escapism, if you ask me.
Staying In kicks off with a ringing phone. We’re staying in with BBC4 and ITV. And sitting on the internet. And Julie coming round with four cans of beer and leaving again, because you don’t want to go out on the town. I’m staying in! You can go out!. I don’t wanna dance to the silly songs you play. I can relate to that. It’s almost a breakup song, because your boyfriend really seems to like the wrong sort of music and the wrong sort of clubs.
A New Squad Attacking Formation. Yes, I think we should start some kind of riot now. Because this is all boring and the kids haven’t been alright for quite some time now. You know what you need to do.
Junkshop Discotheque. This was a single, of course! And sounds exactly like the title suggests. With vocoders and robot vocals. And a disco beat.
(what do you mean, this is the last song)
Saturday … NITE!!!. Not to be confused with Saturday Night Kicks, of course. It’s nearly December now, so cling on to this song. It’s Saturday night, it is not cold and I’m Gonna meet my baby on a Sarturday ni-hi-hight. (the reality couldn’t be more different. I stayed in with Ovaltine, Marhsmallows and CSI last night, but, like I said, nothing wrong with a bit of escapism).
I heart this album. And I remember hearing my first Helen Love song (Bubblegum!) nearly ten years ago, when a fanzine penfriend put it on a mixtape for me. I spent hours rewinding that tape so I could listen to that song over and over again. And I am glad Helen Love are still going (I’m not so amused they hardly ever play live though, last time they played was, annoyingly, the night before I moved to London. And I still have nightmares where they announce a gig in Tokyo the next day and I need to find money for the planeticket, fast!) and are still making those beautiful tunes. We need those bubblegum songs, in this dim decade of bloody Razorlight and the goddanb Arctic Monkeys (what is an arctic monkey, anyway!).
So go buy this record. If you don’t like it, I’ll make up for it by feeding you icecream ‘till you puke!