DOLL SKIN first popped up on my radar sometime last year with In Your Face (Again), their debut for EMP Label Group. I filed them in my “Check ‘em out later” folder, which I unfortunately never did until April. But even then I never really sat down for a good, hard, focused listen. So I decided to change all that a few weeks ago with the arrival of brand new album Manic Pixie Dream Girl (out now), and I’m sure glad I did. Pop-Punk is very hit or miss for me, with the majority of it being misses, but this band manages to hit me more often than not, so much so that I felt compelled to share my thoughts with all of you.
Opener “Shut Up (You Miss Me)” is one of the catchiest, most infectious songs of 2017 and has already found its way onto several of my playlists. “Daughter” mid-tempo’s its way through the verses while turning up the jets on the hooks, and “Road Killa” is arguably the heaviest song on the disc. That guitar riff is pretty fierce with a nice solo, and yet the tune retains its pop sensibilities where it needs to. “Boy Band” is fun, and boy does Sydney Dolezal have a big voice! Between this one and “Shut Up” you can really see what a vocal powerhouse she is at such a young age. “Rubi” was a favorite due to it having a slightly different feel on the verses before coming in with such a stick-in-your-head chorus.
We’re off to the races once again for “Sunflower” while “Sweet Pea” has this waltz-like quality to it and is without a doubt the album’s most unique, and prettiest track. Yeah, I really like this one. “Baby’s Breath” is another great selection. The groove is fantastic, and the build-up to the chorus is a mini-journey in itself. The lyrics and music to “Puncha Nazi” make for one helluva song and the band goes nuts. A pleasant surprise is the cover of “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrisette that closes the disc. The vocal harmonies are tight, and when the whole group comes in it makes for a pretty powerful selection.
All in all Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a very good record by a young band who has a bright future. DOLL SKIN is a group making some serious waves, but you know what? All the buzz is justified. They write catchy tunes, ones that will stay with you for quite a while. And even though there was a song or two I didn’t like as much as the others (“Persephone,” for one) that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a fun disc. The band will be on Warped Tour all summer and doing some headliners as well, and I have a strong feeling that sense of fun will translate well into their live shows. Pick up your copy wherever you buy music today.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Sweet Pea”, “Shut Up (You Miss Me)”, “Rubi”, “Baby’s Breath”