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CMJ New Music Report - November, 2003

The Dresden Dolls

by Brad Maybe

The Self-titled debut from Boston's Dresden Dolls rocks about as much as you can without actually rocking. Embodied by Brian Viglione on drums and Amanda Palmer, whose piano-playing and singing range from frantic to soothing. The Dresden Dolls will bop you on the nose and, in the same motion, hand you a lace dolly to clean yourself up with. Evocative of a dense and adult cabaret show, this record recreates familiar tunes ("Missed Me", "Coin Operated Boy") while still soaring to original heights. "Girl Anachronism" would make a great punk rock song - it's furious pace and Palmer's impeccably timed "girl" rant give off so much tension, you can almost feel her neuroses. There's a hint of a Rid of Me-era P.J. Harvey in the singer's delivery, but that's really just an attempt at comparison. Whatever it reminds you of though, it's hard to ignore a record like this - which explains why the disc was one of the Top 10 CMJ Radio 200 Adds for the week ending Oct. 28.