The Dresden Dolls - The Dresden Dolls

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Remember what Lou Reed tried to do with The Raven? This is the same thing, but less pretentious, more entertaining and thankfully less than half as long.


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This seems to be the month of eponymous albums. Here we have a couple of weirdos from Boston. In fact, the Dresden Dolls are the best thing to come out of Boston since Cheers, despite being a bit too art school for a lot of people I'd expect. This is punk opera if there is such a thing. Brechtian overtones and a sense of despair and melancholy hang over every inch of this album. I tell you, they really should provide the soundtrack to the next Tim Burton film.


Macabre, unsettling but always entertaining the Dresden Dolls have created an album that is the bastard offspring of Gilbert and Sullivan and Edgar Allen Poe. Remember what Lou Reed tried to do with The Raven? This is the same thing, but less pretentious, more entertaining and thankfully less than half as long. Singer Amanda screams, whispers, yells and giggles her way through the songs like a Broadway pro all the while treating her piano like a punch bag whilst her Marcel Marceau look-a-like cohort Brian batters his drum kit like a sexually frustrated rabbit. Occasionally you'll hear some other instruments but they only hang around for a few seconds before getting scared shitless and retreating into shadows. This is dark, it's sinister and it's utterly captivating. Good Day sounds like it wasn't one. Girl Anachronism is clever, witty and totally schizophrenic. Coin Operated Boy is the best song about a girl and her dildo I've ever heard. The fact that it sounds like the theme to a travelling freak show just makes it even better as far as I'm concerned. The music sweeps from show tune to indie rock, from the type of dark powerful chords Wagner would get excited about back to something that would sound at home under a Big Top, often within the same song. Somehow melting Victorian class with Sex In The City style angst has created something powerful. Disturbing, but powerful. You won't forget this in a hurry.


Words: Damian Leslie