New York Dolls band photo

NEW YORK DOLLS – Dancing Backward In High Heels

New York Dolls - Dancing Backward in High HeelsFirst off, I never liked the New York Dolls when they started out in the early seventies. Their mix of punk, hard rock and glam looked pretty cool but their music was a mess. Untight, uncatchy and noisy. But that was enough to make them legendary, even if they only made two albums before splitting up. From the mid seventies until the reunion in 2006 all we ever heard about their members was Johnny Thunders’ heroin addiction and singer David Johansen pulling stupid stunts like transferring himself into being the goofy Buster Poindexter singing ”Hit Road Jack”. Since then no less than three members of the band, guitarist Thunders, drummer Jerry Nolan and bassist Arthur Kane, has bitten the dust due to drug related circumstances. So when the two living members, Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain decided to bring the band back it was seen as a bit of a joke. But when they released the superb One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This (2006), no one was laughing. That was a magnificent album, full of great, catchy and groovy rock ’n’ roll tunes that both kicked ass and had melodies to die for. And it took me by surprise.

But unfortunately, things have gone downhill since then. Cuz I Sez So from 2009, was an, to put it mildly, uneven effort. Not all bad, but the fact is, the best song on that album would have been the worst on One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This and their new one is even worse. I can’t think of one tune on here that I would play ever again and I’m not sure that the band themselves actually knows what they’re doing. The album is so unfocused, schizophrenic and confused both in sound and in songs that I’m wondering if they are back on drugs again. Who on earth would want to buy this? And in a live environment, these songs wouldn’t work at all. Too bad because from what I’ve heard, they’re evidently a great live band. If the band doesn’t break up after this fiasco (bassist Sami Yaffa and guitarist Steve Conte has already left to join Michael Monroe’s band) Johansen and Sylvain might want to look back to 2006 and see / hear what they did so right then. Avoid!

Jon Wilmenius (1/10)

Tracklist:

1. Fool For You Baby
2. Streetcake
3. Fabulous Rant
4. I’m So Fabulous
5. Talk To Me Baby
6. Kids Like You
7. Round And Round She Goes
8. You Don’t Have To Cry
9. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman
10. Baby, Tell Me What I’m On
11. Funky But Chic
12. End Of The Summer

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