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Reviews

BARB WIRE DOLLS Rub My Mind

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 1:44 PM


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BARB WIRE DOLLS
Rub My Mind

Motorhead Music




All-female punk bands over the years have struggled to make their voices heard in a predominately masculine-based industry over the better part of four decades. From THE RUNAWAYS to L7 to the LUNACHICKS and beyond to name but a few, the crusade has been otherwise a tumultuous struggle for the punk rock girls and ladies to make the proverbial walk from Zipperhead to knock the crowd dead with their own take on social issues. And, to be honest, while I doubt if the members of BARB WIRE DOLLS were even in diapers around the time to appreciate the sentiments echoes in the aforementioned 1988 classic by THE DEAD MILKMEN I’d just quoted in this review, they sure have seem to taken a lot of that contemporary outside thinking from the blueprint of DIY punk and made a lot of practical use of it.

BARB WIRE DOLLS have essentially been all about being self-sufficient since they arrived on the music scene back in 2010, a group of five fiery female Greek musicians bonded by a mutual love of 70’s punk rock and aspirations of stardom and championed by the likes of KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer and the legendary MOTORHEAD frontman Lemmy Kilmister, who signed the young band to his burgeoning label after seeing their first performance on US soil. Since then, they’ve cut two studio albums and have toured with bands as diverse as STATUS QUO, GBH and STEEL PANTHER among others as well as being a regular fixture on this year’s Vans Warped Tour. Imagine if the history of METALLICA’s early days were merged with the script of Two Broke Girls and you’d maybe have covered the first six months of BARB WIRE DOLLS’ career with that analogy.

With that said, their third album Rub My Mind - dedicated to the late great Lemmy himself - reflects a band on the cusp of maturation and change on its own own terms. Openers “Back In The USSA” and the sped-up ode to London Calling-era CLASH follow-up “If I Fall” start the album off nicely with a dark atmospheric and nihilistic mood. Frontwoman Isis Queen has a distinct voice from within her band’s genre which can range from a confident-sounding street ready Joan Jett-like chant on heavy-sounding tracks such as “Contract” to a sultry-sounding Siouxsie Sioux on slower tracks such as “Fade Away”. Her bandmates, which include guitarists Pyn Doll (a former skateboarder and professional surfer) and Remmington and the backing rhythm section of bassist Iriel Blaque and drummer Krash Doll, not only forge together the raw sounds of late 70’s era punk and the unbridled energy of 90’s grunge, but they also seem to harness some of the more dynamic sounds and swagger of 80’s goth/alternative in parts too. “Fade Away” sounds like the best ballad Robert Smith never wrote while “Contract” echoes hints of GENE LOVES JEZEBEL’s early catalogue from their Beggars Banquet era (their record label, naturally) if they were fronted by Alanis Morrissette. Plus the closing number “Waiting To Be Lost” which clocks in at just over seven minutes, is also notable for Isis Queen’s ever-emoting crooning on parts of the song. And thanks to the stellar production work of Jay Baumgardner (EVANESCENCE, BUSH, JOHN FORGERTY) at Joshua Tree, California’s famed Rancho De La Luna studio where QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and IGGY POP among others have produced some of their more seminal discs in their careers, Rub My Mind can also join their ranks.

Granted, punk rock was as much about attitude as it was about music and it’s also prided itself on being something of a necessary shapechanger in mainstream music throughout the past 40 years. Sometimes, outside influences from the mainstream have either helped or hindered its growth. And while BARB WIRE DOLLS have yet to boast having more time on their side in their burgeoning career, they’ve amassed enough history and experience to get into the listener’s head with Rub My Mind.

Look for these punk rock ladies traveling round the world once more come September and beyond!

https://www.facebook.com/barbwiredolls
http://www.barbwiredolls.com/

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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