Login | Sign-Up

Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

9.2

Dead China Doll
Dead China Doll

Dead China Doll have always existed under the radar. In fact, even to get my hands on this album I had to get a phone number from a friend and then rendezvous with the bass guitarist at his work. The band seem most comfortable dwelling in the shadows, with their commercially unacceptable song titles, the often drawn-out soundscapes and non-linear arrangements making them the kind of group that you are unlikely to hear overplayed on your local radio station anytime soon.

The music, separated into five tracks that span in duration from six-and-a-half minutes to a whopping eleven minute epic, is probably too intense for anything more than a single serving per day. The track breaks are completely irrelevant as well, given that it's impossible to imagine this record not being listened to from start-to-finish as a single body of work.

The unconventional path this record takes is powered primarily by it's complete lack of familiar structure. The disjointed 45 minute journey continually sparks off into numerous different directions at once, without any care as to how it plans to make it to it's destination, or even return to where it all began. It's this central ideal of throwing caution to the wind, creating songs that revel in their broken song arrangements and musical wandering, that makes this such an enjoyable slab of music.

The epic nature of the record is not only achieved through the stretched length of each of the songs, but also the injection of orchestral elements alongside the thrashing of guitars and pounding rhythm patterns. It adds an emotional side to the music, which if not utilised would leave the songs sounding a little too much like theatrical prog-rock jam sessions.

This battle between the gentle use of cello and the smashing of punk riffs is also part of the album's most effective weapon - contrast. The quiet moments are required just as much as the thunderous climaxes. The ear-bleeding screeches of guitar snuggle up next to piano loops and pounding drum lines in a confusing, yet completely natural way. At times the landscape is stark and baron, while in the very next instance it's an over-crowded palette of ideas, all fighting to be heard and recognised. It rarely stays on one theme too long, but in the same regard pulls a lot of it's strength from the control of the sounds and the way in which each piece of music builds to various points of either climatic joy or bone rattling terror.

It's doubtful the band realise it, but this album is part of a much larger picture - an emerging, gutter dwelling sub-genre of Australian music where Dead China Doll find themselves as the Sydney representatives. Much like Witch Hats, Spider Vomit and Snowman, Dead China Doll paint a dark picture with scattered moments of brightness creating a fantastic antithesis of ideas and sounds. This isn't the smoothest journey, but it's definitely rewarding and worthy of your time. I can't imagine any other Sydney group releasing such an engrossing and unbelievably powerful record this year.

Filed Under
Record Reviews
Dead China Doll

 

You'll Probly Like This Stuff Too

 

Comments

Hit The Switch

..... it's ok your not the only one who wants to fuck that record!

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

yes.. i originally wanted to just post a video of me making love to the record.. but the editorial committee wouldn't let me..

1 decade ago

Hit The Switch

hahaha!

1 decade ago

quack

cool. so Big W doesn't sell this record then?

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

i reckon you could email the band.. [email protected] ..if you are keen for a copy..

1 decade ago

sjuga_minn_kunta

on august the 1st it went into shops like redeye records, paint it black, missing link, rocking horse etc etc, we're still working on jb hifi

1 decade ago

Comments are currently closed because Spam Bots ruin everything.