Sunday, May 17, 2009

Doll: "Inside The Dollhouse" album review

Inside The Dollhouse is the debut album from hard rocking Ottawa quartet Doll.  The band boldly state they are on the forefront of the new wave of grunge music.

The songs on Inside The Dollhouse follow the fictional character Sally.  Her unfortunate life experiences provide the themes and narrative for the album.

Giving voice to Sally is lead singer/guitarist Christina Kasper.  Like a crazed Kat Bjelland, she uses her powerful lungs to snarl and yelp her way through these songs.   Bassist Julie Anne Madore beefs things up with her backing vocals, almost more like interjections on tracks like "Grunge Didn't Die, You Did". 

The opening chords of the high octane "Daddy's Little Girl" lay the groundwork for the record.  Blistering guitars and a pulverizing rhythm section provide an in-your-face assault, making songs like "Sally Lost Her Shoelaces" sound like the charge of a runaway freight train.

The combination of vocals and music make Doll reminiscent of great grunge/metal acts like L7 or Canada's own Kittie.

Because of the bombast, the songs can often come across as atonal as impact too often trumps melody on the album.  Tracks like "Drown" and "Rescue Me" could benefit from a deeper, more nuanced texture.  The haunting echoes of "Drop the Hit" demonstrate that the band is quite capable of delivering on that level.

Regardless of that, there is no questioning the power and fury of Doll.

Doll will be opening for Brodie Dalle's Spinnerette in Ottawa on June 18th.

Best tracks: "Sally Lost Her Shoelaces", "Grunge Never Died, You Did"

Track listing for Inside The Dollhouse:
  • Daddy's Little Girl
  • World of Mine
  • Tired of Pretending
  • Sally Lost Her Shoelaces
  • Perfect
  • Grunge Never Died, You Did
  • Rescue Me
  • Drop the Hit
  • Pick Up Your Gun
  • Drown

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