Iris Queen delivers her vocals with the madness of a hatter.
This summer has brought us Desperate, the newest album by the Barb Wire Dolls. Hailing from Greece—although temporarily relocated to Los Angeles to record the disc—the trio has seen its popularity grow. The band has begun making a splash here in America, having laid the groundwork with their first EP, Punk the Fussies, in 2010. Composed of Isis Queen on vocals, Pyn Doll on guitar, and Krash Doll on drums, Barb Wire Dolls have done themselves a great victory in Desperate. This release is righteously raw, yet with just enough polish to make it fan-accessible.
Musically, the material is edgy, melodic, and cynical, very punk in sound, yet with more precision than most punk bands—and better melodies. Their sound is comparable to the Sex Pistols mixed with the Dresden Dolls, though Isis Queen holds a much better tune than Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer. Queens’s escalated hilt is melodic with a good tone, and is actually quite lovely at times. She delivers her vocals with the madness of a hatter. Killer guitar work from Pyn Doll holds the basis of the songs together, and drummer Krash Doll keeps his beat with a punk fierceness.
The production, which was done by Jay Baumgardner, is just enough to keep the band tight, while not letting go of their style. The “bootleg,” raw sound of the album only adds to its appeal. Heavy rock and punk listeners should be very satisfied by this album: It is heavy punk rock at its finest.
The band has played several sold out shows here in the United States, including twice headlining the Annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash, as well as selling out two nights at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip. They have also played the Whisky a Go Go as well as many other famous clubs.
Good song structure along with a stellar production makes Desperate an excellent album, raw, heavy, and very well done. Spotlight tracks include the scathing title track; “Blind to Your Misery”; “I Will Sail,” a heart-wrenching ballad; and “Surreal,” a heavy-rocking song.
If you love raw rock ’n’ roll, you will love this album, a stellar performance from a new and upcoming band. Barb Wire Dolls is a name to watch for. B+ | Marc Farr