Saturday, March 25, 2017

RECORD REVIEW: Doll Skin "In Your Face (Again)"

RECORD REVIEW
Doll Skin
In Your Face (Again)
2016 EMP Label Group
_________________________

Crisp and crunchy  fresh,
fun and totally irresistible.
The full-length debut slab
from Doll Skin makes me
super-happy I'm not dead.
__________________________

There I was — covering the recent Vans Warped Tour official kick-off party at Full Sail Live in Orlando. From my primary perch near the production booth at the back of the auditorium, I stood taking in a fast-paced video montage spotlighting this summer's bumper-crop of big names. One by one, the barrage of various cookie cutter "core" collectives flashed by. Then, suddenly, images of four brightly-colored slices of delicious-looking punk-flavored birthday cake popped out from the venue's two jumbo-sized video screens and captured my attention completely. Hmm. Note to self  seek out Doll Skin and buy their record  ASAP!

Produced by record label mogul and co-founding Megadeth bassist, Dave Ellefson, In Your Face (Again) delivers where so many records by similar bands have fallen short. Simply put, this scrappy Phoenix-based combo possesses ferocious musicianship — and they've got songs to back it up. 

DOLL SKIN
(Meghan Herring, Alex Snowden, Sydney Dolezal, Nicole Rich)
Capturing glorious "Queens of Noise"-caliber vocal attitude while creating authentic "Seether"-style guitar buzz, "Family of Strangers" is the perfect opening track for this sensational 9-gem treasure chest. Other noteworthy highlights include the guitar-driven dysfunctional love song, "Wring Me Out" and the riff-laden show-stopper, "Furious Fixation" — I live and I die, indeed! On the lighter side, the moody, romance-on-the-skids ballad, "Blind," seemed initially like the set's "square peg." But after a couple of spins, this one sneaked up, crawled into bed with me, and broke off a piece of my good sweet lovin'. Your experience might differ.

Despite the lavish songwriting praise the band so richly deserves, the record's two cover tunes also make for extra-exciting moments. The super-charged remake of "Weatherman," the 2012 staple from Dead Sara is a spot-on recreation, while the updated version of "Woman," the hard-hitting 2006 classic from Wolfmother is absolutely blistering — BRAVO!

In sum, everything here works. Everything pops. And be sure, age and gender are irrelevant. Doll Skin is simply a monstrous rock band — one with an amazing record and a seemingly limitless future. That is, as long as they don't do anything stupid and "F"-it all up. (A-)

-Christopher Long
(March 2017)

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