Dang! Wow! Boom! What a blast! Earworm alert! Oklahoma City pop-rockers One Two Ten’s delightfully rambunctious, harmonically crystalline and lyrically all at once dark, incisive, whimsical and playful “Heathers” is the reason rock journalists invented the term “instantly infectious.”
It starts out all Beach Boy-esque then crackles along slowly before blasting through with a fire that fuses summer escapism (The Go-Go’s “Vacation” comes to mind) with propulsive grooves and blistering edges (think anything by The Killers) that fuse slick pop/rock with defiant, punchy punk sensibilities.
Seeing the title, and starting to warble along even before the high-octane rock quintet completed the first chorus on the inaugural listen, I immediately flashed back to “Heathers,” that delightfully creepy late 80s film that got future stars like Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty and Christian Slater going. Great to hear my instincts were spot on, as frontman/keyboardist Andrew May says he came up with the “Heathers are on holiday” concept in the middle of the night, inspired by the strong personalities of the characters in the film. Of course, there’s a personal side to his inspiration as well - it’s also something of an homage to his girlfriend.
The band - which includes Spencer Christian (Lead Guitar), Evan Burgess (Bass), Jon Edmund (Drums), and Stinson Fuller (Rhythm Guitar) makes a hell of a fun-filled racket, and May spurts out words super-so you may miss a bit of the narrative on your way to the pounding drumbeat/guitar scorching that leads to that soaring, gotta hear it over and over chorus.
But whoever the Heather is he’s singing about, she’s quite a woman - revolutionary, trend setter, a “bleach blond bomb sipping on four locos,” a little heart breaker, stone cold killer and someone determined to escape the fear and muck of her life for more liberating life experiences. She’s a good daughter too, telling Mom and Dad she’s sorry.
All this liberating break-free stuff ends a bit tragically for such a buoyant tune - she ends up on a “beach in Holly” dead from “taking too much molly” but at least she (and presumably, her feather “Heathers”) went out on her own terms.