There are not a lot of female Oi! Bands in the Philadelphia area. But even if there were, The Droogettes would still be on top. The Droogettes are a female Sugar Oi band inspired by A Clockwork Orange (the 1962 novel written by Anthony Burgess and brought to life by Stanley Kubrick on the big screen in 1971).
Even though I lived in the Philly area, I first saw The Droogettes play for the first time at the Montreal Oi Fest (in Canada) and was blown away. Jenn, Elija, Rachel and Ginger are the smart, charming, and charismatic ladies who make up The Droogettes (although some of the tracks of Clockwork Girls were recorded with their previous drummer). Their stage presence makes them even more lovable than their recorded songs alone – if that’s even possible. It feels like this full-length album was a long time coming, but it was absolutely worth the wait. This collection of Sugar Oi! is like a sweet punch in the gut when it hits you.
In true punk fashion, this 16 track album will delight your ears… but only for 33 minutes. But if you’re like me, you’ll be playing it over and over again throughout your week so you don’t mind it being that short.
The album opens up with a song a called “Verse & Chaos”. A track telling the tale of how the girls started out. The vocals start out a little grittier and somewhat heavier but are broken up with a bright and catchy chorus. “Verse & Chaos” has more of a punk feel than Oi. Regardless of which side of the genre influences are found in the song, it’s still an upbeat, catchy tune that hooks you with its simplicity. The heavy and light duality of the song really works and makes for a well-rounded track.
“Bitter Old Man” picks up and sounds more like what I’d expect from Sugar Oi. It has that American Oi sound but is punchy and has the right amount of fun and a pop of femininity that not everyone can pull off without sounding like “a girl band”. Their vocal harmonies work so well on this track. The drum break is nicely placed and just long enough that when Elija and Rachel come back in on guitar and bass it finishes the song off strong.
“Tiki Bar”, “Teenage Nights” and “Make Boys Dance” have a sweet but sassy feel to them. All three give me the feeling that these ladies were the ones that boys’ moms warned them about as teens. Just the right amount of troublemaking wrapped up in an innocently sweet package.
“No Apologies” speaks to me on a whole different level. Maybe because I find the song reminiscent of aspects of myself it really just draws me in. It is a solid track with just the right amount of screaming vocals to make you forget where you are and sing out loud (sorry to the other patrons in that bank I was in earlier!).
“No Time”, “Keep On Drinking” and “Little Boy Bombs” give you the feeling reminiscent of being at a show. The one you get standing up front by the stage, singing along with a beer in hand, and just having a good time. The tracks were written and played in a way that really lets you get lost in the music.
“The Adict” has some of my favourite basslines on the album. I feel that it gives Rachel a little bit of a spotlight that is well deserved.
The ladies round off the album with a few more songs that are sure to be crowd pleasers. “Fun With Guns”, “Bovver Girl” and their rendition of “You’re Doing Yourself No Good” are all wonderfully done.
I am a little sad that they didn’t include my favourite song off their EP (“Montreal”) but they did include the always amazing “We Don’t Love You” which I was happy about. Overall they picked great songs to be on their first full-length album.
This album has been out since July 20th, 2018. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to it, give it a listen on iTunes, Spotify, or better yet catch them at a show and buy a copy! It is available on both CD and vinyl for you vinyl lovers & collectors out there.