What’s up everyone! It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to post but I’m back and we have some goodies to listen to. First up is Greek punk/glam rockers Barb Wire Dolls. These guys and gals just dropped their third full-length, Rub My Mind, while on the Van’s Warped Tour this year. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know that I’m super picky about punk music (come to think of it….I’m picky about everything, really. Why didn’t someone tell me I’m such an insufferable snob?). These guys have caught a great vibe of 80’s punk/glam and even some thrash. They’re catchy, straight-forward, unashamed, sexy rock ‘n’ roll. Isis [Queen, lead vocals] has a great balance of always carrying the melody, while still showing aggression. She channels Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Plasmatics‘ Wendy O. Williams, and young Runaways-era Joan Jett. Unlike a lot of retro-style punk bands, the lyrics are more personal and relatable rather than political. Not that there’s a complete absence of social commentary, but its not the point they’re pushing. They are a glam-influenced band. Glam metal was about partying and having a good time. The first song, “Back In The USSA” starts out catchy and solid with a great singalong chorus. The production of the album goes right along with the sound and influence. Its comforting, like listening to the old 70’s/80’s proto-punk/hard rock albums. Pyn Doll [lead guitars] has a great tone and a good ear for bouncing between big catchy punk rock riffs and dissonant noodling. Drummer Krash Doll and bassist Iriel Blaque keep a steady backbeat and foundation. The bassline takes a great center stage spot during “If I Fall”, the feel of which is reminiscent of Green Day’s “Longview”. Towards the end of the album, “Fade Away” gives a slower, more mature sound. Isis’s vocals are cooing, sensual, and more melodic during the verses and then giving way to a balanced powerful chorus. The guitars are bending and ethereal…never coming to full blown punk riffs, but rather setting a backdrop of a lonely starry sky behind the vocals.
Rub My Mind is rock solid, and a great effort from a band who knows how to make a now classic sound still come across as interesting, refreshing, and relevant. Maybe more importantly, they make punk/glam fun again…the way it was originally intended.