Website: The Dresden Dolls
The Inside Pulse:
The Dresden Dolls are one of those niche bands that will simply never, ever be that popular. Oh, they’ll get a good following going, but these people will never be the kind that buy one U2 or Dixie Chicks album a year. These will be the kind of people who go to festivals, who love off the wall stage pomp, and love to have a healthy dose of burlesque theatricality the likes of which are matched by no other band. The Dresden Dolls consist of only a piano player and percussionist, both clad in mime makeup and goth outfits. It’s not the most original gimmick, but the ruthless narration, the knife-sharp compositions, and the brooding sense of love bring them to a foray where they are completely on their own. There’s lots to love here (take the lyrics from “My Alcoholic Friends” – “I’m trying hard/not to be ashamed/not to know the name/of who is waking up beside me/or the date, the season or the city”) but you’ve got to have a bit of an open mind.
It’s impossible not to get some of these hooks caught in your head (from “Dirty Business” – “She’s the kind of girl who leaves out condoms on the bedroom dresser/Just to make you jealous of the men she f*cked before you met her”) and to appreciate just how good these two clowns are at playing their instruments. It’s also an overall improvement over their first self-titled release. It’s more stories, less ballads, more killer drum sets, more, more, more.
You can’t really help but sort of worry that maybe these two aren’t extremely clever songwriters but instead actually scary serial killers who bite their lovers’ heads off and then cry about it later. Plus, there’s no real breakout song here, like there was on the last one (Coin Operated Boy) but instead kind of an even quality throughout.
The Kills meet Moulin Rouge meet a mime and a hooker with a heart of gold.
Reason To Buy:
It’s a damn interesting study, this record. It’s also gorgeous pop work. Just be prepared to explain to the folks at the office that you’re perfectly okay, because they might worry.