Damaged Dolls - 3 Track Demo (2008)

Another day, another sleaze metal band from Sweden to review. This time it is Damaged Dolls from Goteborg. Two things immediately strike me about the band; firstly, their logo is exactly the same as the ones us droogs used to make up for our fictitious bands and scribble on our school books back in the 80's. Secondly, the band is seriously good looking! To bastardize a famous quote - Rock God is in the details, indeed. I'm pretty sure that a poster of the boys pinned to a bedroom wall would cause sleepless nights for rock 'n' roll girls and curious boys alike.

Let me get one fact straight out there into Readersville; I love the fact that a whole new generation of glam/hair/sleaze - call it what you will - metal fans are carrying the torch by forming cool bands and looking real good. But it seems that the lines of inspiration are constantly blurred. Just last month a total (young) stranger looked at me in a bemused fashion when, after he had struck up a conversation due to the iconic Kiss solo albums artwork being about my person, I stressed how disappointed I was with the current 'tribute band' status adopted by the former hottest band in the world. Twenty years ago we were teezin' our Pepsi Tate/Michael Monroe hybrid hair up into ozone bothering heights to the six string shenanigans of Richards & Wood, Thunders & Perry, Ronson & Frehley - nowadays it seems like they have been replaced by Hoffman, Jabs and Arvanitis, such is the shift in focus to a more European metal sound. A sound, boys and grrrls, that our cowboy booted feet did their best to run away from. It is almost as if today's rock soldiers are buying vintage issues of Hit Parader from eBay and, when seeing Guns N' Roses and Faster Pussycat alongside Warlock and Accept on the contents page, are forging a curious mix of 80's inspired heavy metal. Hit or miss stands on a very fine line and, thankfully, Damaged Dolls just manage to keep their Chuck Taylor All Stars on the positive side of the line.

Currently in the midst of a US tour and with a recent Hanoi Rocks support slot under their studded belts, Damaged Dolls would appear to be making comic-book hero sized strides forward in their fledgeling career. Whether the next step will be that of superhero or sidekick will, I feel, rest on the universal acceptance of frontman Holm's accent-heavy vocals. The opening track of this latest three track demo, 'Bad Boy Gigolo', is a heavy, well-produced three minutes of fun rock 'n' roll, although the almost-dated feel to the chorus will be off-putting to some. Musical xenophobes will hate the opening of 'Kill Me For Fun' purely because of the afore-mentioned vocals. What follows is a faultless slab of Euro-sounding metal that will appeal to many. Final track 'Right Between Your Eyes' is the pick of the songs and, with its hint of Hardcore Superstar and middle eight reminiscent of early Motley Crue, has provided the band with a benchmark for their further output. On current form, Damaged Dolls will feel confident of gathering a huge Scandinavian following but, with a taste of the American market still fresh in their mouths, a slight tweak of their sound is needed to really break out into that territory. A band to watch, for sure.

by Gaz E.

Visit the Damaged Dolls Website