Nominally a punk band, but…
This one came out on the 16 June 2017, and Allan reviewed it after that date purely because of the link to Motörhead…
Yes, it’s true: Lemmy himself discovered Barb Wire Dolls and signed them up to his own label, such is the faith that the beloved frontman had in them. This is now the fourth album released by the quintet from Crete, so one would expect the band to be slick, accomplished, and to deliver a solid kick.
However, given that they’re nominally a punk band, there’s a distinct lack of venom and attitude on display. It’s all very neat and tidy, but for me the essence of punk is in the venom and vitality and raucousness of the delivery. This album doesn’t fire me up in the same way that, say, the Ramones or the Sex Pistols would. For me, it’s a classification that doesn’t do the band any favours – so I’ll drop it for the rest of the review and just talk about what is actually on the record.
In actuality, what we have is a very eclectic set of songs that doesn’t really stick to one genre. The band veers from a very saccharine power-pop to stoner rock to pop-punk to surf-rock to good old rock’n’roll, and takes in a whole raft of influences on the way. They’re all recognisably songs by the same band, with a similar aesthetic and feel running through them, but it’s almost as if the band really couldn’t decide on a tonality or direction and just decided to do everything that they felt like on one album.
Weirdly, it sort of works. The album becomes a sort of flowy, ethereal trip – it’s never aggressive enough to push you out of the flow. The harmonisation on the vocals alone ensures that you’re never really taken out of the moment while you listen. What does throw it, though, is when the songs manage to outstay their welcome. While it doesn’t get to the point where you want to switch it off (and it’s short enough that it doesn’t really matter) there are a few other points on the album where the repetition goes on a few bars too long. ‘We are Champions’ is probably the worst example of this, when a song of only three and half minutes somehow runs out of steam before it’s even half-way done.
Overall, then, I find myself left somewhat cold by this album. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but at the same time there’s nothing that I feel I want to shout about, and there’s nothing on there that I’d want to put onto my playlist. Ultimately, for a band marketed as an ‘explosive and exciting’ band, there’s a distinct lack of either on show on this album.
- Back In The U.S.S.A.
- If I Fall
- Desert Song
- Hole Of Isolation
- Call Me
- We Are Champions
- Edge of Innocence
- Fade Away
- Where The Mountains Drink The Wine
- Fire To Burn
- Waiting To Be Lost