Released: 4th February 2008.
It’s been several years since their last full length album – “Love and Glitter, Hot Days and Music”, but after several years of rather sporadic singles and EPs, the genre-bending girls from South Wales are back with a second full length album of what can only be described as a mix of “garage beats, bubblegum, disco and soul”!
The album is spearheaded by no less than three singles, with the recently released title track “It’s My Club” (oddly enough a top 20 hit in Spain), previous single “Junk Shop Discotheque” and the brilliant “Debbie Loves Joey” from their “Bubblegum Killers EP” all present, but after these are done, can the band deliver another album full of simply wonderful tracks like their previous work?
To pigeon hole Helen Love into a genre is impossible. Their influences include the garage punk of bands like the Ramones and Blondie, but also a heavy influence from dance music – from disco through to happy hardcore. However, if one thing can be said for this second album, it’s got more emphasis on tune with a notable turning down of the guitars and the dance beats and a turning up of the keyboards.
The theme running through the whole album is that of the 1970s. We’ve got mentions of the Ramones, Wings, Ohio Express, the 1910 Fruitgum Company (but thankfully no sampling of either “Yummy Yummy Yummy” or “Simon Says” from the latter two) and transistor radios, and you can’t help but wonder if the music would have worked back then. Well, again, the theme of “garage beat, bubblegum, disco and soul” come back, as the four pretty much sum up the 1970s – alongside glam and punk – both of which genres they are clearly influenced by.
Instant highlights of the album would have to include the three aforementioned singles, together with the story-heavy “Staying In” and “First Boyfriend”
People often slate the 70s, but when you combine the many varied styles together, you get the absolutely fascinating sound of Helen Love, and this album in which you’re struggling to find any filler material. It’s just such a terrible shame that aside from former Radio 1 DJs Mark and Lard, the UK mainstream has failed to catch on to this phenomenal band.