By Doll & The Kicks
Brighton based Doll & The Kicks' self-titled debut album "knocked me for six" when I first heard it. Somehow still unsigned, this self-financed album is one of the best debut albums I have heard in many years. Having seen them live on a few occasions, their raw, energetic, powerful yet melodic sound has been superbly captured and cocooned in the studio. This band have melodies and choruses to die for, believe me. Ten songs, thirty-two and a half minutes, enough said !! And to quote a mate when I said this to him "I like it already," he replied. Well, every song on here could be a hit single because they are all that good. Once heard, never forgotten.
If you throw Gwen Steffani, Lene Lovich, Cerys Matthews and Kate Bush in a pot you get Doll's wonderful voice, and she writes some brilliant lyrics too. The album opens up 'Leaving the Race' and straight away it hits you with Oli's pounding bass and Chris' thumping bass drum pedal before Matt's guitar comes sliding in. Then, before you know it Doll has taken you into a powerhouse of a chorus. And this is just the start !!
'Roll Up The Red Carpet' has a reggae style verse before it explodes into a truly orgasmic chorus. 'He's A Believer' shows Doll has one hell of a set of lungs, and the song has a beautifully textured bass line to support it. 'If You Care' is the album's ballad, and if it was still allowed at gigs, right from the very start you would be holding your cigarette lighter in the air and swaying from side to side!! 'You Turn Up' is my favourite. I am bouncing around as I type!! Matt has a superb guitar sound on every song, and I really like his playing style, especially throughout this verse. 'You Turn Up' builds up and up, and you just want to jump up and down to it!!
'Pictures' introduces you to the second half of the album and has a very infectious chorus. Chris' drumming is excellent throughout, as he produces some really nice accents along the way. He and Oli do some good harmonies on the songs, and Oli shares the lead vocals with Doll for the middle eight on 'Pictures.' 'If You're Gonna Leave' and 'Cry In The Kitchen' build you up for 'He Was A Dancer.' Doll does her Lene Lovich impression brilliantly as this song is wonderful from start to finish. Musically it just builds up at a unbelievable rate!! 'Superstar' closes this superb album and there is even room in the song for a clap-a-long section!! Also listen out for the tambourine on the album!!
Every song on this album has been well thought out, structured very maturely and is supported with some excellent lyrics. They have strong harmonies, wonderful pre-choruses and middle eights to go with their quality verses and very strong choruses. In my opinion every house should own a copy of this album. If vinyl had still been in circulation in a big way, you would need two copies because you would soon wear the first one out!!