New York Dolls - One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This Roadrunner Records by Keith Boyd 07.26.06
Oh my God, The New York Dolls are back! I can't tell you how exciting it is to hear some new music from the kings (maybe queens is a better word!) of glamorous, punk-n-roll giddiness. 'One Day..." is something truly unique. It's not so much a return to form but a one upping of the old form. It's the old form revived and added to with experience, craft and enthusiasm.
I vividly remember the 1st time I saw the New York Dolls. I say saw because the visuals of their two albums (New York Dolls and In Too Much Too Soon) were what hit me like a ton of bricks. Being a music obsessive from a very young age I'd managed to weasel my way into a summer radio show on WRBC (Radio Bates College) in my hometown of Lewiston, Maine. Here I was
13-14 years old and I was on the radio! The stacks and stacks of records were a treasure trove and I dove right in. One day while flipping through the N section I saw it. "It" was the wonderfully lurid and bizarre album cover of the New York Dolls debut release. It was so strange looking I couldn't take my eyes off it. Here were these grown men dressed up and made up in the trashiest hooker like get ups imaginable. They appeared to be uniformly wasted and as they preened in handheld mirrors or pouted into the camera something in the pose seemed to say, 'Bet you wish you could do this!". The logo furthered the package. It was done in a pink bubbly cursive style that ended in the lipstick that had just written the words. The whole image was so trashy and defiant I had to get it on the turntable as soon as possible. That day I ended up playing most of the album and went back to the stacks to find their 2nd disc, "In Too Much Too Soon". This was a true music discovery. In their tunes were echoes of so many things. I would describe it as equal parts Rolling Stones, 60's girl groups, Rockabilly and Garage rock.
It was a bit of all of these things writ large with attitude and constantly on the brink of melting down. The Dolls seemed to have absorbed a variety of influences and then wrapped them all in their own tuff-guy transvestite chic. Upon asking people if they had heard about them I was stunned that they were so little known. You have to remember that this was the early 1980's. No internet, no much cable tv and no independent music distribution.
I'd heard of the New York Dolls before but only as a reference in articles about British Punk and the influence they had had on it. THis was also just before the wave of Dolls inspired "Hair-Metal" bands like Poison, Cinderella and Rat. Once those bands broke, the name New York Dolls became a bit more well known. But while those bands might have aped the freaky-styley of the Dolls, they didn't come close to the music. Where as the Dolls rocked, these imitators simply sucked! That what is come back ot with the New York Dolls.
They Always were, and still are, a great band. This rebirth began a few years ago when former Smith's front man Morrisey got the remaining Dolls to reunite for a few gigs at a British festival called the Meltdown. This process and the shows are show in wonderful detail in the documentary, "New York Doll". After the shows they knew that they had to do something more.
Their new album, "One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This"
(Roadrunner Records) returns to some of their trademark themes and sounds but manages to sound punchy and current. The production on this disc is perfect. It's not too digitally glossy and the mix sounds warm and growling.
Given that 3 of the original members have passed on we're really talking about David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain. This is actually fine because they were always the pumping heart of the NYD's and they reinvest their band with surprising energy, depth and glamorous flair. Stand out tracks include, "We're All In Love", 'Dance Like A Monkey" and 'Fishnets and Cigarettes" but the whole thing is just a lot of fun and sounds great. I'm so happy that the New York Dolls are back. They are just the antidote for these bland times.
Step into their shocking pink universe for awhile and have some fun.