The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

NEW YORK DOLLS
Dancing Backwards in High Heels (2011)

 

 

 

David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain’s double edged love letter to their joint loves – sixties rock n’ roll and New York – is a blinder of an album, full of sounds you just don’t hear this side of 1975.

 

That they have made an album so firmly rooted in the ‘way back when’ that sounds so NOW is incredible – horns honk and toot, rhythms slither sinuously, flexing and pulsing with the beat, seemingly discordant stabs at a piano slice through the beat, Johansen’s voice underpins it all and mirrors the effortless cool of the music, cracking with weariness and pain and love and an exultant self belief which has always been the Dolls’ greatest asset.

 

As always, Johansen’s (not so) secret weapon is his vocabulary – “It’s a mean old existentialist world” and “ being a couple of favourite lyrical examples from “Dancing Backwards…”.

 

There’s a real garage rock feel to New York Dolls 2011 – raw and ragged around the edges, but slyly so, giving the impression that every note has been premeditated rather than just bashed out in a jam. Is there any artist other than The Rolling Stones that can pull off working so hard to make sounding so louche, so natural? It’s a breath of fresh air in a world of over-processed music!

 

2009’s “Coz I Sez So” suffered under the weight of it’s own expectations, but thankfully “Dancing Backwards…” sees the Dolls back on form as much as their 2008 comeback album “One Day It Will Please us To Remember Even This”.

 

Shane Pinnegar