Sohodolls
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Sohodolls

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Rolling Stone magazine Asia, September 2008 issue. A 5-page feature of the band plus interview that was conducted in person in Tokyo. - A Japanese boy..


If the ultimate purpose of modern rock music is to communicate to the listener how entirely fanstastic and prolific at sex you are then Sohodolls are the best band who ever lived. Event the most perfunctory listen to their oeuvre suggests that theirs is a sex life stuffed to bulging with orgies and elaborate pulley systems. Sohodolls are actually not the best band who ever lived, but they are epxert purveyors of entirely perverted and deceptively witty seclectro, most notably on 'Prince Harry'. The squelchy synth bass and scratchy guitar get a bit samey, but it's a great samey and when they rise above the aggregate on the almost moist-with-sauciness 'Pleasures of Soho', they'd inspire the most chaste of monks into a bizarre wank-dance combination. And that's what pop is all about - making monks wank.

PETE CASHMORE. 7/10. - NME


We thought Sohodolls had been banned by the Anti-Pissing On Electroclash's Corpse Act. But it turns out Parliament doesn't make laws like that, and here they are another barrel of whipcrack synth-glam. All of which possibly sounds dull on record, but makes the Secret Garden Party Festival believe it was in an electro-Dickensian sexual-terrordome rather than a muddy tent.

- NME


..better yet Sohodolls' 'No Regrets' is an utterly magnificent slab of haughty electro-sleaze (''hotter than your average bitch/flick on, flick off my switch'') which makes Peaches sound as predatory and erotically charged as KT Tunstall. Let them get frosty on your ass - it is winter, after all. PETE CASHMORE - NME


Soho – the epicentre of trash, coughing up sleazy strip joints and sleazier media types, but also the spiritual home of Maya Von Doll and her comrades. With a debut album and marathon UK tour underway, Sohodolls won’t be haunting the neon-splattered streets for a good while yet. Gigwise thought it was time to catch up with delightful frontwoman, May Von Doll, to discuss all.

The last time we spoke to Sohodolls, they were an all-girl trio, terrifying and delighting indie boys up and down the country. Now, the girls are out and Maya is a doll in the company of gentlemen, four of them to be exact. She explains to us: “Toni is pretty much an original member – he was already in the band when we released our first single in 2004 with Alan McGee. He chose to stay out of the photos back then! I think the 3 original girls together were a 3 headed barking monster.”

Having formed a slicker line-up and more focused sound, Maya and Toni managed to make it a relatively smooth transition. “We didn’t have to teach them what Sohodolls is all about – we knew straight away that they would get it. You’re either a Sohodoll or you’re not. In fact, all three of them are bringing more to Sohodolls than I expected: just the other day on the drive down from Crewe to Milton Keynes we stopped at an Ann Summers to buy Paul some stockings and suspenders to wear on stage… it was his idea!”

Their long-awaited debut album ‘Ribbed Music for the Numb Generation’ aims to bring back some fun and sensitivity to electro-pop, although Maya argues that this lack of emotion runs deeper than the present music scene. “We think people’s attitude needs to be shaken up, and in many ways too! No one questions the shit they’re served up on a daily basis from food, to music, to the crap they’re buying, hence ‘the numb generation’. There’s a lot of anger, lust, humour, hate, fear and vulnerability in our album so it’s about tapping into your primal senses as well as glamming up!”

Sohodolls are a difficult band to categorise, with snippets of 80’s synth-pop, glam rock and more contemporary electro-sleaze, but it is their wild, confessional lyrics that sets them apart from the more self-conscious bands. “Lyrically, Sohodolls is autobiographical so yes, almost everything is really personal. A couple of songs are based on an imagined scenario like ‘Trash the Rental’ – I’ve never been joy-riding or pulled down any garden fences in suburbia.”

Over the years, Sohodolls have also bagged some high-profile support slots, including Ladytron, Soulwax, The Charlatans and most recently Daft Punk and Klaxons. So, have these support slots won them any new fans that may not have heard their music? “Definitely! We’ve had a lot of people join our forum/mailing list and come to our gigs just because they’d seen us before the big bands came on.”

Their latest single, ‘Trash the Rental’, also features a super hot remix by electro ingénues, Crystal Castles, further elevating their reputation and appeal. Maya said: “We are overjoyed with Crystal Castles’ remix! It’s beautiful! When we approached them they said they were too busy with their own album but asked to hear the track anyway. Then they got back to us and said they’d do it.”

Mid-way through their UK tour, Sohodolls have a hard task to beat the excellent summer gigs they’ve already played. Maya said: “Yes, there’s been a few great ones recently! The O2 Wireless festival in Hyde Park was fantastic – the tent was heaving and the cheers were so loud at the end of each song that the sound distorted in our ears. It was both terrifying and pleasing. Secret Gardens Party was a wild one, the crowd were fantastic and that egged us on. Also, we played Taunton’s Café Mamba at the start of this tour and that was the most hyper and energetic show we’ve played all year. We were soaking wet from sweat. We also played the London Islington Academy and that was quite a cheeky show – there’s footage of one performance on our Myspace page if you wanna get the picture.”

Surprisingly, the dolls’ favourite haunts in Soho are not hidden in the myriad of neon lust alleyways, but rather the old man pubs where real ales rule over poppers. Maya said: “We like the old pubs in Soho – Dog and Duck, Intrepid Fox, French House, John Snow, Garlic & Shots, Foyles Bookshop and sitting in Soho Square in autumn with a packed lunch!” Not exactly the debauched escapades you’d expect from the dolls, but they are always full of surprises.

If anyone knows how to party, it’s Maya. But for those whose experience of London is a quick jaunt around Oxford Street and the V&A, how can they recreate the ‘pleasures of Soho’ in their hometown? “That’s almost impossible! But for starters they need to have an obsessive crush on someone and to be submissive to that person.” Obsession, lust, submission, fantasy - welcome to the valley of the Dolls.

Album review By Neilufahr Alimohamadi - www.gigwise.com


There is a stage in here now. Must have been built especially for tonight - it would be disrespectful to expect these Sohodolls to not have a stage to perform on - fine for those unkept post punk hardcore bands in their scruffy t-shirts that we usually find in here, but these dolls need to be up there and worshipped - we should be looking up, they should be looking down.

Damn damn damn, getting out of Organland and escaping the barking phone and the demands of ORG Records monster in time for the support band proved impossible tonight, sorry - I hate being rude and missing support bands. Maya sings and teases and demands attention in her school-ish uniform, Toni stalks on guitar (and reasonably demands more beer from the audience before he'll carry on) their sound is almost perfect. There's especially made 'stripper cocktails' on sale for tonight - as celebration of the latest single - first time we've heard it, it's their best moment yet. I'm addicted to that Belgium Strawberry beer they're selling here though, no expensive cocktails tonight - next addiction could be Sohodolls, if this wasn't a one off moment of magic - I hope they are as good next time, yeah, they will be, they have it, they will be as good next time. The perfect description - that glorious keyboard sound that drives Human League's finest moment is now the property of Sohodolls. The four of them are up there in this fine very basic venue - the projections' shining colours all over their uniforms - we've been warmed up deliciously with Visage and Joy Division earfood, the band clearly have a following in tow, this feels good good good. Anticipation hangs in the air and those great big synth lines swoop down and grab - Prince Harry is just so infectious, it should be massive, it sounds massive - proper pop, horny pop, pop to hang onto. ''Idiot'' drives, it's all punked up synth pop to drool over, pop that's drenched with knowing attitude - the four of them know it up there - come on, more noise we're better than that - Stripper stomps, Stripper is filthy, and ant-beat, new romantic glam rock stomp, Stripper is perfect - nah nah, nah nah, nah nah - hey! And I never mentioned Anti Marilyn, Hollywood, Orlando, Plastic Fantastic or the Wicked Kid Sister of Adam Ant once - what comes around goes around, came round sounding better than ever this time. This time it sounds real, sounds like being boiled and loving it - worship worship... SOHODOLLS are our new favourite band and all is well with the world... cut to the chase, go grab a listen at www.sohodolls.co.uk then come back and thank us.... I deserve a stripper cocktail next time and you know it.
- Organ


It's been sometime since an electronic synth band has emerged, who not only manage to successfully blend seductive and velvety vocals, with pulsating futuristic glam rock, '77 British punk, blues, jazz, dub and hip-hop beats. But to discover one that has a dark, lush, icy-cool sophistication, and who can rightly be hailed as natural successors to the likes of Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp and Ladytron, is indeed a rare and very special find!

In 2007, that band is Sohodolls, and in lascivious singer / founder, Maya von Doll, rock 'n' roll has a fascinating new starlet, who fittingly, has been labelled as "A Female Iggy Pop." And whose sexiness, burlesque wardrobe and sometimes risqué stage performances, accompanied by her partners in crime - a band who look as though they could have just stepped out of Dickensian England or A Clockwork Orange - have left a trail of wide-eyed audiences from London to LA!

Glitz & Glamour are very much back, with the inspiration behind the quintet's name, put down to one simple thing: "In a world of bland shopping-mall culture, Soho is a place haunted with decaying and desperate glamour, savagery and sex. We're the dolls that dance with the ghosts," proudly boasts their Biog. And, according to Maya's MySpace page, Sohodolls is her "Frankenstein… I made it out of many different pieces from different eras and from different genres. It came alive in London's music caverns in 2003 I think."

When asked to describe Sohodolls live, Toni has replied, "sexy, sweaty, raw-power, style, blood and broken teeth!" With Maya pitching in, "We give a very energetic show, and Sohodolls is a band that must be seen live to fully understand and appreciate us. All the musicians in Sohodolls are very creative and skilled. We also go mad and we are on the brink of anarchy on stage sometimes! I've come off stage twice with broken teeth in Milan and London, and once with a bleeding knee in Oslo."

So, if you didn't know of Sohodolls' Underworld before reading this, just listen to their electrifying debut album and experience one of their mesmerising live shows for yourself, and you certainly will afterwards!
- Repeat Fanzine. Co. Uk


Sexy strutting and punky glam-rock influenced electronica, Sohodolls go down a storm.

LIVE REVIEW OF SHEPHERS BUSH EMPIRE SHOW, LONDON, IN CELEBRATION OF THE BIG ISSUE'S 50th BIRTHDAY - Big Issue


Discography

PRINCE HARRY (single, Poptones, vinyl & CD)
PLEASURES OF SOHO (free download, A&G)
STRIPPER (single, A&G, vinyl, CD & download)
NO REGRETS (single, A&G, vinyl & download)
RIGHT AND RIGHT AGAIN (single, A&G, CD & download)
TRASH THE RENTAL remix by CRYSTAL CASTLES
RIBBED MUSIC FOR THE NUMB GENERATION (album, A&G, CD & download)

Photos

Bio

2008: Dolls have toured Japan, S.Korea, Germany & UK. Accepted to play SXSW in Spring 2008.
2007: Dolls released debut album, tour UK extensively, tour Germany & France
2006: Dolls release 2 singles, tour UK, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia & Turkey
2004/5: Dolls release debut singles reaching 7 & 12 in UK indie charts, tour UK & Germany.

YOU'VE HEARD US HERE -

GOSSIP GIRL - Episode 2, when Blair takes to the stage in a burlesque cabaret club and strips to our song STRIPPER for 2 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnnCnyx5T-k

NIP/TUCK: News just in! (August 2008) 'My Vampire' features in key scene in new episode.
NYLON TV
Sohodolls' 'Bang Bang Bang Bang' provides part of the soundtrack to this fashion piece:

http://www.nylonmag.com/?section=article&parid=959

'Prince Harry' features in this mini documentary on Fashion Week:

http://www.nylonmag.com/?section=article&parid=963

'I'm Not Cool' features in this report:

http://www.nylonmag.com/?section=article&parid=961

SUPPORT FROM K-ROQ

Rodney Bingenheimer has been championing Sohodolls for 2 years, playing various songs from the debut album regularly. He said '‘The best two bands to come out of the UK recently are Arctic Monkeys and Sohodolls’.

LIVE BABY LIVE

The Klaxons, Daft Punk, Ladytron and Hanoi Rocks – “We’ve toured or played with them all.” Sohodolls is a rocky marriage between rock n roll and electro and deliver energetic and unpredictable live shows. Other bands have gigs but Sohodolls have ‘shows’.

This brings us to the heart of the band. Sohodolls is all about doing it live. Period.

With a list of international dates forever on the horizon, Maya’s face lights up when asked about their live performances: “Playing to 3500 people at the O2 Festival in London’s Hyde Park was victorious! The cheers of the crowd between the songs were so loud it was deafening. And to see the audience clapping and moving to our music was amazing.’’

Most memorable gig before that? “The Water Rats, where I stage-dived. Toni climbed on the monitor but ended up on the floor with half a broken pint glass stuck in his back. By the end of the gig 3 of us were splattered in blood – including Weston’s brand new ‘winkle picker’ shoes. Our manager sent us backstage for first aid. I had my period so there was confusion as to what the source was. It wasn’t me.”

RIBBED MUSIC FOR THE NUMB GENERATION

"We love rock 'n' roll, electro, glam, '77-british punk, jazz and hip hop," says Toni the band’s guitarist. "All these extremes make our music ribbed. We don't fit easily into pigeon-holes - not in music and not in life. We feel our generation has been cheated. Modern life has conspired to make us dumb, numb and un-questioning. We want people to tap into their primal senses again: lust, anger, love, fear and humour. Lyrically and musically the songs on this album express all of these feelings and instincts."

A GOTHIC-PUNK FAIRYTALE? BURLESQUE? GLAM-CABARET? FUTURO-ELECTRO DICKENSIAN TERRORDOME?

Ladies and Gentleman – the elusive, the enigmatic, the indefinable - Sohodolls!

‘‘A Horrors-esque keyboardist, a Finnish guitarist, a double bassist, a drummer in suspenders and a gorgeous front girl complete Sohodolls. They landed in Glasgow halfway through their British tour promoting their long-player ‘Ribbed Music for the Numb Generation’, filling the tightly packed venue with electro, sleazy synth, scratchy guitar and disco... sometimes all at once.

Their performance immediately oozes sex, burlesque and allurement; dressed in black, braces, big hair and suspenders, and that’s just the boys. Front woman Maya, or Maya Von Doll as she is more fetchingly known, is amazing to look at, resembling gothic, punk glamour mixed with skinny heroin chic. She may have a voice that borders similarities with Kylie Minouge, but don’t let that put you off - the songs are upbeat and catchy, filled with electro lust, guitar fuzz and trash pop. Their provocative performance is packed with circus sleaze and cabaret.

Commercially, to use a cliche, there's something there to please everybody, and with the producers of bands such as Depeche Mode, The Cure and Babyshambles behind them, success shouldn't allude them. A gothic fairytale in one act.’’

Gigwise September 2007 (Popular UK music website)
Live review of show at Scotland’s famous King Tut’s venue by Mhairi Graham