The Hawaiians - Pop Punk VIP  REVIEWS


 "I am sure most reading this review will look at the album cover and say, "of course this guy is reviewing THIS album."  You know what? You would be absolutely correct.  Guilty as charged! I see an album cover like this and I know what I am getting myself into. That being said, the German pop punk band The Hawaiians have been on my radar for quite some time.  They are hailed as one of the greatest current bands amongst fans of pop punk and Ramonescore. Needless to say, I was pleased as punch when this one fell into my lap for review. Pop Punk VIP is the fourth full length effort from the Hawaiians and is my maiden voyage into listening to these cats. They indeed wear their influences on their sleeves!
"Across The Sea" kicks off this sixteen track album. It is important to point out that I first gasped at the sight of sixteen tracks on a release by a band in the pop punk bubble. On the surface it seems excessive.  That being said, the album clocks in at just a little over 30 minutes. This leadoff track does the trick in showcasing the band's signature usage of dual vocals. The band moves to mid-tempo on "Girl From Mars" which follows. This steady paced track sticks in your head with its repetitive vocal lines. "My Baby's Got a Primate Yeti Brain" will appeal to fans of heavy Ramonescore. This fast and furious number tells the tale of falling in love with an ape girl. The album's title track "Pop Punk VIP" is a true standout track. This is a classic Lookout era Queers-style track, which is complete with quick chord changes and screaming vocals. "You And The Sun" is the type of track which could be a commercial hit.  It starts with poppy yet subtle opening guitar leads. This track has the most musical structure compared to others on the album. This track also shows the vocal range of guitarist/vocalist Beppo Hawaiian. The Hawaiians take a mid-period Lillingtons route with "Welcome To My Batcave" This comic book style song is as equal heavy as it is dark. The bouncy "I Can't Find No Sleep" follows which changes the mood of the album substantially. This track will make you bounce and pogo punk in the pit. There are great guitar stops in the bridge which helps add to the vocal harmony. The band pays homage to 80s Ramones with "I Am Hunting UFO's." This is a slow to mid-paced track which sounds like it was lifted off of a soundtrack. As the title would suggest, "Surfer's Rodeo" contains both doo wop and surf punk vocal melodies to commence the song. This track is upbeat surf punk with catchy keys to boot. "Love Radar" is a darker European pop punk style song that heavily contrasts the previous track. The Hawaiians even tackle garage punk on "Pizza Rock N Roll" which follows. There is even hints of glam rock all New York Dolls on this number.  The band returns to their true sound on "Feels Like Summer." This to me is where the band seems most in its comfort zone. This track has a strong chorus and great vocal harmonies. Richie Ramone lends his talents on "What's Normal For The Spider" which is up next. As you would expect, this song leans on the heavy Ramonescore side. The  band returns to the 80s sound with "Frankenstein Junior." There is some effective palm muting of the guitar which helps accentuate the vocal melodies. The 90s alt-rocking "On The Beach" brings us towards the end of the album. This sweet love song will please fans of bands like Beatnik Termites. The Hawaiians wrap it up with "Don't Go With Him" to conclude this sixteen song set. This steady pop punk track will leave you remembering what this German band does best in writing great hooks and melodies.
Pop Punk VIP is almost a world tour into all that is pop punk. The Hawaiians tackle almost every angle of the pop punk bubble from heavy Ramonescore to sweet and sugary pop punk. I feel they are best staying in the middle lane and crafting memorable songs with solid melodies and hooks. It is impressive the roller coaster of sound that the Hawaiians fit into a sixteen song album at such a short length. If you need a good introduction into the pop punk bubble, look no further than this album to cover the spectrum. "


"The Hawaiians are back with more end-of-summer shenanigans. The Hawaiians are the consummate “summer” band.  They put together all sorts of songs about surfing, the beach, and girls with just the right “oohs” and “ahhs”.  Weird this, as they are from Germany, not California (or even, I dunno, Portugal or Spain).  But some of my favorite stuff like this of late has come from decidedly “unsummery”/”unbeachy”/”unsurfy” places (see: Sweden’s Randells).  Not to be deterred, Pop Punk VIP picks up where the fun 2020 album Invading The Summer left off, only with better songs.   For those who love The Queers Don’t Back Down or Andreas Manges & The Veterans self-titled album, opener “Across the Sea” is gonna sound awfully right.  There’s the catchy vocal melody, the tasteful keys, and Beach Boys-style harmonies adding sunshine to everything.  Actually, lots of songs on here could be described similarly.  I could be convinced that the “ooh-way-ooh’s” backing up “You and the Sun” were actual Beach Boys samples, they’re that good.  And the wonderful vocal melody and lead organ sounds on “I Can’t Find No Sleep” help the song quickly become a standout.  It’s one of the hookier earworms I’ve heard in a while.  Later, “I Am Hunting UFOs” and “Don’t Go With Him” have just a-okay verses, but I’d be pretty neutral on each if it wasn’t for the gloriously addictive choruses.  Both just go next level, and I realize that the “just a-okay” verses get tempered as a set-up.  Nicely played, Hawaiians.  Nicely played.  “Pizza Rock’n Roll” could’ve been an early Beach Boys-“GTO” style song and is dumb fun.  And then there’s the ridiculously titled “Surfer’s Rodeo”.  It’s got the best Ramones-like “ooma mow mow ba ba ooma mow mow” vocals on here.  Once it gets going, the surfy guitars and bass carry the load while an organ keeps busy with a supporting melody.  And the vocals, both lead and backing, are pretty pitch perfect.  I also think the drums on this one are my favorite – lots of bounce, some double taps on the snare – ya know, the good stuff. Once in a while, they go after something more blistering and angsty.  “My Baby’s Got a Primate Yeti Brain” is a ridiculous song that is catchy enough and ends up fun because of the melody and lyrics.  “Pop Punk VIP” is even faster, but not as memorable for me.  And “What’s Normal for the Spider” rips along just right with “whoa-oh’s” that could weirdly come from a Bad Religion song.  Also of note, this song features Richie Ramone.  These songs are a good time, but they aren’t the heart of Pop Punk VIP.  Instead, to me they act as a palette-cleanser on the album, resetting things before going back into the gorgeous summertime pop punk stuff that mostly sets the tone on the album.  Really, they might be the most important songs on the album, keeping things from getting too saccharine.  Those wanting angst and aggression are not gonna find much on Pop Punk VIP.  And if you need something close to a 50/50 split between the attitude-ridden breakneck speed songs and the sunshine harmonizing stuff, you will wanna try again with something else.  But for those who want a “feel good hit of the summer”, this should do the trick. 
Favorite song: “Surfer’s Rodeo”
Favorite moment: even considering the source, the exacting Beach Boys approximation on “Pizza Rock’n Roll” caught me off guard and got me smiling
Favorite whatever else: when the chorus goes off on “Don’t Go With Him” I’d be tempted to let it go on forever"

Thats good enough for me (Sep 9, 2022)


2021 kam das letzte Album der westfälischen Hawaiians, binnen eines Jahres wurden ganze 16 Songs geschrieben und aufgenommen. Qualitativ alles sehr hochwertig, vom Songwriting her über die Produktion bis zur Aufmachung der CD welche im Digipack kommt. Musikalisch liegt das ganze sehr nah an den Ramones. Schnelle Riffs und eingängige Melodien. Alles was die Ramones und die Beach Boys im Laufe ihrer Karriere perfektioniert haben wird hier übernommen. Entsprechend gut geht das ganze auch ins Ohr. Ein kleines, wahrscheinlich auch persönliches Highlight, ist ein Gastauftritt von Richie Ramone. Wieso die Band sich den Pop-Punk-Stempel gibt, verstehe ich nicht, denn sie sind weit entfernt von Bands wie Blink-182, welche auf eine krampfhafte Weise Berufsjugendliche sind und deren Genre für sehr unangenehmes Publikum steht.
Fazit: Richtig geile Scheibe, die man definitiv mal anhören sollte! 77 at it’s best!

Away from life

Time to put on your tight jeans, Chuck Taylors and your Hawaiian shirt. Here is Pop Punk VIP, album #4 (I think) from German bubblegum pop punk three piece The Hawaiians. It’s a Travoltas meets The Queers bubblegum beach party leaving you with significant loss to the glazed layer of your teeth but positive vibes all around. The Hawaiians invite you to leave all pretentions, cynicism and worries at the gate and just enjoy the ride – and the waves. What a fun and catchy record. To top it off, there even is a guest vocal appearance of Richie Ramone on What’s Normal For The Spider, arguably the fastest song on the record.

Add to wantlist By Niek 


 Wir haben euer Konzept verstanden! Wie schon bei "Invading the summer" versucht ihr, durch Veröffentlichung im Herbst uns das Sommerfeeling etwas zu verlängern. Klappt tatsächlich ganz gut, denn auch auf "Pop Punk VIP" sagen Melodie und zuckersüße Pop-Punk-Musik (ach?) aber sowas von "vamos a la playa".
Gut, das Tempo dürftet ihr bitte hier und da wenigstens ein ganz kleines bisschen erhöhen. So klingt es nicht mehr 100% nach den Ramones, sondern 100 % nach neueren Ramones. Neee, Spaß! Das ist schon super gemacht. Top produziert, lustige Texte, bisserl Orgel drin, alles super.
Wie sich das gehört, darf ein Gastauftritt eines ihrer großen Vorbilder (in diesem Fall Richie Ramone) nicht fehlen und so trällert man gemeinsam bei "What's normal for the spider" ein paar Takte. Obwohl diese Musik eigentlich nicht unbedingt zu meinen Favoriten zählt, laufen die HAWAIINS doch recht häufig im Auto und auch der Mit-Sing-Faktor ist definitiv nicht zu unterschätzen. Gefällt sehr gut!


Aus der westfälischen Nachbarschaft kommt diese sehr hübsche Platte angeflogen. The Hawaiians sind eine der mittlerweile ältesten Pop-Punk-Bands Deutschlands und kommen aus Westerkappeln. Auf ihrem nun vierten Album „Pop Punk VIP“ (das zweite nach der Reunion 2018) glänzen die drei Boys mit einem ansteckenden Cocktail aus Rock’n’Roll, Power-Pop und etwas Punk Rock der Ramones-Schule. Los geht es mit einem Travoltas-Core mäßigen Song, der direkt ein Highlight ist und gut zeigt, wo es die nächsten 16 Lieder lang hingehen wird. Viel Strand, Sonne, Pizza, Frankenstein und UFOs werden wie ein lebendig gewordener Comic, musikalisch umgesetzt. Dass die Hawaiians zwei Sänger haben, macht das ganze noch abwechslungsreicher. Für Ramones-Fans könnte durchaus interessant sein, dass der ehemalige Drummer Richie eigens den Gesang für eine kurze Punk-Attacke übernommen hat (Song: What’s Normal For The Spider). Das knallt noch mal ordentlich durch die Stereoanlage! Es folgt einer der stärksten Hawaiians-Songs überhaupt: Frankenstein Junior. Alle Hawaiians-Trademarks sind hier zu finden: tolle Melodien, tanzbare Beats und einfache Nonsens-Texte, die auch mal gut tun. Dosenbier aufgeknackt, die Anlage aufdrehen und einfach mal ne gute Zeit haben. Diese Platte, die übrigens auch als CD erhältlich ist, ist uneingeschränkt zu empfehlen. Fans der Ramones, Beach Boys, The Rezillos und Plastic Bertrand sollten unbedingt zuschlagen!