Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So somebody gave this to me a little while ago. That's how it had to happen because I was avoiding the reformed Dolls like the plague. Yes, The New York Dolls are without question one of my all time favorites, always in the top 10 of my very fluid and often changing list of bands. I in no way wanted to give this thing a chance. How many times have you been burned by one of your fave groups getting back together for that abysmal reunion album and cash in tour. This is all that I thought such a thing would be and I wasn't going to waste my time. But in light of the fact that they have recorded three albums post Thunders, Nolan, and Kane I started to think that maybe I was missing something. So I sat myself down in the basement and put on this disk and actually started to hope against hope that I would like what I was about to hear.
Well, what can I say. I was not expecting the old Dolls sound. There's no way with 3/5 of the cause of that sound gone it could even come close. So I wasn't looking for that, but still I think that they would have done well to call the band on this record something else besides The New York Dolls. I know why they did it, but it's a different band. I guess you have to give them credit for not trying to be the early version of the Dolls because it just really isn't possible, but that being said, it just reinforces the point of having a new name.
The street thug immediacy is gone. The brutish catchiness of the tunes and the raw energy have disappeared as well. David Johansen sounds like John Hiatt, and Syl Sylvain doesn't have a partner who can even come close to giving the two guitar assault that is one of the key elements in defining the sound of the Dolls. Again, I know that expecting the 70's band was not a possibility, but I would think that they could have given something more than they did. Maybe though, the fault lies more with the producer, Jack Douglas, than it does with the band. I don't know, but the record really does suffer from overproduction. I realise that they may have been going for some kind of Phil Spector vibe, but it misses by miles. I would like to hear these songs in demo form. This thing might have been better had it had a much more raw production value that it has.
Of course, what do I know you ask. This record charted higher than their self titled debut and TOO MUCH TOO SOON. Yeah, well that doesn't tell me it's a superior disc, it just tells me that whatever powers that be which determine the charts are way off, whether that be corporate dolts, or a mass populace that has been force fed crap for so long that they have now started to prefer it over the life energy blast of the real thing.
Yet believe it or not, I'm actually curious to hear the other two records that this version of the band has done. I guess I'm hoping that these guys have something left in the tank and maybe this was just a bad record. All that being said there may be some hope because I did like the song Dance Like A Monkey, and that proves they can do something strong. The question is can they do it enough. Here's hoping.