This is a good album. It is kind of similar to 'Blame It On Gravity' by the Old 97s in that the songs on it don't quite measure up to the band's body of work, but the difference is, 'Holler and Stomp' isn't quite as much of a fall-off as 'Blame It On Gravity'. Unlike the latest Old 97s album (#9 on this list, by the way), I could see some of these songs being included in a Dressy Bessy best-of album, especially since this album gets a little bit (albeit a tiny tiny bit) better with every listen.
One important thing about Dressy Bessy: singer/frontgirl Tammy Ealom seems like real cool girl. I usually have a hard time with bands who have girl singers. I'm hoping-slash-pretty sure that it isn't because I am sexist. Let me clarify a bit before moving on: I have a hard time liking bands who make fast and/or loud songs who have girls singers. Girls are excellent at the slower, pretty songs. Maybe we should also add a 'rock' band description, because there are some good woman singers of dancey type music. So, to break it down: I don't usually like fast-slash-loud rock bands with girl singers.
Okay. The reason why, is because they seem have a hard time finding their voice, both lyrically and sonically (this is the least dumb word I could think of to put here). Or at least it seems to me, you might feel different. Anyway, girl singers in fast-slash-loud rock bands can try too hard to be all hard, be not hard enough, or be too snotty with their lyrics and voice. It can seem like they are trying to be something they are not, which is a rock dude. Now, I'm not saying that all girls want to be like boys, and that all girl rock singers want to be like boy rock singers. It's just that music over the last quarter-century hasn't provided a lot of girl rock singers. Girls who sing don't have a lot of examples of a girl making it work by keeping it real. There are some, sure, but not a lot. Then again, it could be because I haven't heard a lot. Maybe they do exist.
Tammy Ealom is cool, though. She can write and sing lyrics that aren't bitter and aren't always angry. She seems comfortable with what/who she is. Maybe I'm just attracted to her confidence, musically. She can use the word 'honey' in reference to her man without being too sugary or sarcstic about it. She can be sugary, though, but doesn't overdo it. She can also be sarcastic, but does it without being over-the-top. She injects her girl-coolness into her songs, and the result is wonderful.
Then again, maybe boy singers have been doing it wrong all along and I have just been conditioned to like how things are.
I couldn't find any videos from 'Holler and Stomp', so you'll just have to take my word for it. But, here is an older song of Dressy Bessy's: