These Dolls are antiques now, but they’re priceless.
Formed in 1971, The New York Dolls helped launch the glam-rock movement along with Kiss, David Bowie and Alice Cooper, yet they imploded long before any of their peers, breaking up in 1977 after two seminal albums.
Reformed in 2004 with original members David Johansen (vocals) and Sylvain Sylvain (guitar), the Dolls’ second album since then defies easy categorization. The title track blends Ron Wood-ish guitar riffs with a snarling punk sensibility. “Better Than You” evokes The Ramones’ cover of “Needles And Pins,” and Johansen even sounds like Joey Ramone on the track.
“Lonely So Long” revolves around country steel guitars, while Johansen whistles the main melody line of “Temptation To Exist” over a cha-cha beat. And if drunken staggering had a soundtrack, it would sound exactly like “This Is Ridiculous,” in which a down-and-outer bemoans his lot in life.
“Drowning” blends a Stones-like “Paint It Black” mysticism with Johansen’s own “We Gotta Get Outta This Place” vibe. The album also includes a ska remake of “Trash,” which was on their 1973 debut disc.
“Exorcism of Despair” closes the album with flail-and-wail guitar and drums fury.
The New York Dolls
“‘Cause I Sez So,” (Atco)