Album Review: The Cherry Dolls – “Viva Los Dolls”
There was a time about 15 years ago, when the wave of New York bands in leather jackets serving up reheated garage rock was losing momentum, that the mainstream music press were doing one of their periodical searches for the next big thing. One of the areas that suddenly found itself in the spotlight was Australia and New Zealand where a wave of bands like The Datsuns, Jet and The Vines had emerged blinking into the sunlight playing a more energetic take on the garage rock that their American counterparts had made a pretty penny out of the year before.
Had Melbourne’s Cherry Dolls released this debut album back then instead of in 2017, it’s probably fair to say they’d have most likely followed the three above bands into the Top 30 for a brief spell. As it is, it’s at least a good life-affirming blast of old school rock ‘n’ roll right from the moment the furious anti-police brutality C.O.P. Out blasts from the speakers, starting off like a slice of Vines/Datsuns style rock ‘n’ roll before cranking it up a gear into some full-on Iggy style vitriol. Good stuff and probably the strongest song on here.
The majority of the rest of this album follows a fairly well-worn template with the likes of Slave, Let You Down and the Dollsy Love being solid slices of garage rock riffage. However, there’s enough of a sense of variety in there to keep things interesting with the stripped down Lemon & Lime and Blister, the lurching seasick Kimchi and the sinister Begging You Please (another high point) showing that this band have quite a few strings to their bow. Not bad for a debut effort at all.
A good and varied first shot from these Antipodeans. Viva Los Dolls is a good slice of garage rock power with a few curveballs thrown in to keep things interesting. For those who like their rock 'n' roll lean and mean, this is definitely worth investigating.