Released by: Motörhead Music (UDR Music)
Release date: July 22nd 2016
01. Listing: Drown
02. Take me Home
05. Blind to Your Misery
06. I Will Sail
07. Darby Crash
08. Problem of the Poet
09. Rhythm Method
Isis Queen – Vocals
Pyn Doll – Lead Guitar
Krash Doll – Drums
Iriel Blaque – Bass
Remmington – Rhythm Guitar
The Barb Wire Dolls are a pop-punk/grunge band originating from Greece. Since the bands’ formation in 2010 they have gathered a massive following and wide critical acclaim with their high energy performances and recordings.
Desperate was recorded at the Sonic Ranch in Texas and at NRG in North Hollywood with input from a number of world class music technicians including Grammy winner Jay Baumgardner who produced and mixed the album while another Grammy winner, Howie Weinberg, mastered the album. Released through Motörhead Music (part of the UDR Music organisation) the album is a ten-track roller coaster ride of very good quality grunge/pop-punk. The album doesn’t have the rawness or raucousness of British first wave or second wave punk, but it does have the drive and design of modern American punk and parallels can be drawn to bands such as Green Day and Nirvana whose influences can be heard throughout the album.
Although claimed to be the bands sophomore (second) album, it’s actually their third release following on from the self-released Fuck the Pussies in 2011 and Slit in 2012 released on Darla Records.
The album opens with Drown dominated by the strong vocals of Isis Queen with back up from a bass line which forms a constant supporting the lead and rhythm guitars and drums which are nicely mixed to ensure no one instrument overpowers the rest of the sound. Just for the record, the word ‘drown’ appears 28 times so no mistaking the track title! Track 2 is Surreal which, vocals aside, has more than a hint of Nirvana about it. Third on the playlist is Take me Home which starts with a few bars that took me way back to my youth and the Psychedelic Furs, not sure what it was exactly. There the similarity ends when a heavier beat takes over with strong bass overtones and cast iron vocals. Next is Heart Attack which starts off at 100mph and doesn’t slow down. This one is fast and has a rawness not seen in the earlier tracks, much more punk!
The title track, Desperate, is song number 5. Not the strongest or best song on the album, but it harks back to the Nirvana vibe at times. A much better effort comes in the form of Blind to your Misery. Choppy guitar riffs, the usual strong vocals and ear-crushing bass come along in waves and make this my choice of best track on the album. Track 7 is I Will Sail and is the closest you’re going to get to a ballad on here. Very musical, very laid back until the fast-paced guitar really kicks in around half way through, then it’s no holds barred as the instrumental carries you along on a raft of rock’n’roll.
Darby Crash is the most ‘punk’ song on the album, with 70’s style punk vocals, crashing drums and throbbing guitars; a satisfyingly good throwback track. The album closes with Problem of the Poet and Rhythm Method both of which offer even more of what’s gone before thereby completing what is, in its entirety, a very good quality third album by the band.
On the whole this is a pretty good kick-ass album that draws on the sounds many of the popular bands of the pop-punk genre and melds them together into the Barb Wire Dolls sound. Production is superb and there are a couple of outstanding tracks on the album which deserves a place in anyone’s collection.