Described as “probably the biggest Ramones fans in Wales, if not the entire United Kingdom and maybe the world”, Helen Love are a wonderfully eclectic fusion of pop and punk.
The technicolour trio have been plunging listeners into their colourful world since 1992 and, 28 years later, it seems the universe could do with their unique showering of dreamy glitter-pop now more than ever.
‘Power On’ is, in essence, quintessential Helen Love. It’s got all the vibrancy fans have come to expect over the years, with a splash of what feels like even more colour, if that’s possible. ‘Hold Your Hand’ is the album opener, and, much like Willy Wonka throwing open the doors to reveal his magnificent chocolate factory to a group of wide-eyed, bewildered children, the track introduces us to Helen Love‘s own candy land fantasy with similar aplomb. With a superb blend of ’60s Beach Boys surf-pop and ’70s fast punk pace, we’re instantly pulled into the world of Helen Love.
Fantastical, vivid, animated, and lively, it’s hard not to be sucked in by the pure joy of ‘Power On’. From school disco anthem ‘Debbie Take Control Of The Stereo’, featuring a sample of The Ramones‘ classic hit ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ in homage to their heroes, to the quirky The Ting Tings-style indie-pop buzz of ‘Dead In My Head’, Helen Love inject a hefty dose of fun into this record. The charm of this is only heightened by the band’s obvious love of pop culture, with lyrical references playfully ranging from TV show Top of the Pops to the 1970s musical Grease in ‘Sandra Dee’.
The only sore spot in ‘Power On’ is that this kaleidoscopic cacophony of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It can get a little repetitive and, dare say, annoying. However, one would like to think that it might be annoying in the same way as a kid brother or sister; irritating, perhaps, but more hopefully endearing than anything else.
Despite probably being a little grating for the more pessimistic of personalities, there are many, many shining moments in ‘Power On’. Helen Love‘s perfect combination of sunny pop and defiant punk is a much-needed ray of light.