It’s time to go back to the ‘90s! You don’t need to dye your hair with Manic Panic or bust out your edgy graphic tees, you can simply enjoy more Green Day-esque tunes from Dizzy Bats. I reviewed their second album, Appendectomy, last year and loved it for it’s commitment to ‘90s nostalgia. On their latest release, Girls, the Dizzy Bats are back with more pop punk (or power pop, as my iTunes has classified it) but with a more mature outlook on love and relationships. The band has had a few lineup changes, but the one constant is frontman Connor Frost. He seems to be the heart of the band and is even able to tour solo (actually, these songs probably sound great acoustically as well if he isn’t using a backing band.) Perhaps all the lineup changes and solo time have led to Connor being more introspective on the lyrics and stating more insecurities. Basically, they’ve reached the emo stage. Will they one day catch up to modern music? I hope not, they do ‘90s so well.
There are a couple of references to therapy and therapists and perhaps the songwriting was a form of therapy. Though the songs still sound like light-hearted power pop, the lyrics are working out some issues. Think of this album as having an early Blink-182 sound with late Blink-182 themes, though more down-to-earth. It seems frontman Connor is sick of on-and-off relationships as they come up in “I’m Drunk, She’s Sober,” “Panic Attack,” and just a roller coaster of a bad relationship in “East End.” He’s diagnosed his problem in the title track, where he wishes that he could stop thinking about girls because it all comes from a place of insecurity and fear of commitment. It’s not just romantic relationships that are covered: a dysfunctional relationship with a grandfather is revealed in “Grandad.” It’s pretty dysfunctional, indeed: the grandson seems pretty indifferent as to whether the grandpa is dead or alive. “Panic Attack” covers all kinds of insecurities and issues: one’s exes sleeping with more successful guys, others getting better jobs, and just being scared. “Aphrodite” is more dramatic and serious than the others; it covers missing a girl he’s known for a few weeks while he’s on tour.
The horns that hark back to acts like They Might Be Giants appear on “I’m Drunk, She’s Sober.” There’s a little hint of a Yellowcard-esque fiddle in “I’m Drunk, She’s Sober.” The fiddle, and everything else, gets absolutely frantic on “Panic Attack,” which sonically recreates a panic attack. “East End” and “Grandad” have oh-so-‘90s bass. Connor provides his nasally voice that fits the genre perfectly. It all brings to mind the usual comparisons: Green Day, New Found Glory, MxPx, and all of those pop-punk bands that were huge eons ago when I was in high school. Like I said of their last album, it’s not so much that they’re copying ‘90s pop punk, it’s that they’re just creating new music in that style. If you got through high school listening to Blink-182 and Green Day, the nostalgia factor will make this album all the better. It’s a little more deep than the fun romp of Appendectomy, but come on, you’re a little older and more mature now, too, right?