The Suicide Dolls
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The Suicide Dolls

New London, Connecticut, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006

New London, Connecticut, United States
Established on Jan, 2006
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The Suicide Dolls – Prayers in Parking Lots

I was sitting just outside Metro Insurgentes, in all it’s half slated, retrofuturistic glory. Claudia was eating a bag of nuts she borrowed* from a friend, while I was doodling in a notebook.

As she flicked one into the air, hoping a nearby squirrel would scamper away, we saw a gang of young dudes, dressed in black, with the anarchy “A” spray painted/scribbled/stitched on the back. They have a mohawk a few years too late to jump on the bandwagon, but they still march, towards El Chopo.

It will be a long walk.

Claudia looks at me and we ponder the same question at the same time:

“What happens to punks when they age?”

We didn’t say grow up. Just because you accumulate years doesn’t imply you grow up, you just become, ah, vintage. We know so.

Some punks go and sell butter. Others go and sell car insurance with an Spitting Image atrocity by their side. Some still think it’s ’77 and go on tirades on Facebook about strikes in the 80s. Others live in El Chopo and become the equivalent of the village old wiseman/fool. Others play the same song forever and ever in dive bars thriving on nostalgia. There’s even the ones that acrimoniously split and comeback on national television, claiming there’s a “celestial calling” for them to return.

Then there’s The Suicide Dolls. You know they been around the block for a while and while not really 100% punk like Off!, they kept the punk attitude but embraced the technological advantages for sound quality, whilst attaching a couple of tricks from other genres to sonically expand their characteristic sound.

So, what happened to this punks when it was obvious they wouldn’t repo that Chevy Malibu?

They took on the wall of noise approach of shoegaze, the ferocity of grunge and the drone aspects of psychedelia and created something strange. Songs with a powerful punk aesthetic go into trippy drone moments (‘Smash’ – a real pleasure to meet your acquaintance), others just let it all out in lashings of energy (the instant hit ‘Drive’). You want pure sonic psychedelia? Gaze into ‘Elizabeth’, a slow burning number that sounds like Mazzy Star but with distortion, feedback and an explosive payoff.

There’s even the use of found sounds from The Conet Project in tracks like ‘Go’ and ‘Eye’, adding an otherworldly sense of dread to rocking tracks. Songs like ‘Go’ even border a bit on Sadcore, letting the voice lose a bit of dominance and letting both guitar and bass drive the emotions onwards. Speaking of bass, the tracks for the 4-string inclined should be ‘Senses’ and ‘Smash’.

Miss grunge? Well, ‘Pretty lie’ kicks you two miles back to the 90s and if you feel like staying for a while, ‘Brand New and Close’ provides a rightful encore. ‘Deep red’ starts with some wicked guitar feedback that never overstays its welcome; eviction comes company of the apocalyptic notes that ensue.

Claudia has just finished the bag of nuts, what a judas! We keep talking about punk bands, old and new and come to the conclusion that adopting newer approaches to the ol’ spirit of ’77 means that a knife is being sharpened, not that you’re selling out by promoting dairy products. Prayers in Parking Lots is a good example of how music can include as many genres as you want if you know how to weave them together. The Suicide Dolls have gone and shown how masterful they are at this loom.

If you enjoy this band, I suggest you check The Monicans and Dating Myself. There’s a trio of bands I’d love to see play together. - Sloucher.org


It’s been just more than two years since YOUNG ADULTS released their noisy blitz-punk debut LP Black Hole. Since then, bassist Danny O’Neill (ex-Protokoll) joined the band and guitarist Chris Villon relocated to Northampton, but they remain one of Boston’s most viciously sludgy live acts, and finally return with new material. The Born in ’91 EP was recorded with Justin Pizzoferrato in Western Mass, and continues the trio's assault on our collective hearing. Born In '91 is out on Valentine's Day, which gives us a week to mentally prepare for the onslaught in store for February 21, when the 'Dults crash T.T. The Bear's Place in Cambridge.

This week’s playlist includes "Spectre," a new cut off the band's new EP, as well as equally racketing tracks from two other bands on next week's bill: Connecticut’s reckless-rock trio SUICIDE DOLLS, with a cut off last year's Prayers in Parking Lots; and a double dose off the Let's Rock, OK? EP from Allston’s fuzzy minute slingers EARTHQUAKE PARTY. The latest single from neo-gazers SOCCER MOM is also included after our download, for your streaming pleasures.

See you on February 21. Bring ear plugs, you wuss. - The Boston Phoenix


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A Tribute to Repo Man – album review
Posted on February 18, 2013 by Ged Babey
119 41 Google +0 0 168

repoman

Various Artists: Tribute to Repo Man (American Laundromat)
CD/DL
Out Now

Released four months back, this fantastic tribute to an amazing cult movie and soundtrack album has been on constant rotation on Ged Babey’s stereo – when he should have been reviewing it.

“Look at those assholes…Ord-in-ary people. I fuckin’ hate ‘em.”

‘Repo Man’, the 1984 movie, written and directed by Alex Cox (‘Sid and Nancy’, ‘Straight to Hell’, ‘Walker’) is arguably the best sci-fi, punk rock, comedy, crime caper, and satire of American society ever written. Not that there has really been that many films that fall into that category I guess.

It had a killer soundtrack, two dozen or more memorable, quotable lines, some great acting from Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez and was a cult favourite of anyone with an interest in US punk rock (along with Penelope Spheeris lesser punksploitation film ‘Suburbia’).

The use of dialogue in ‘Repo Man’ undoubtedly influenced Tarantino and the strange and intense Alex Cox never bettered the movie. His ‘Moviedrome’ series of films on BBC2 was essential viewing in the days before a million extra-terrestrial channels.

The Original Soundtrack album brought together the cream of the US hardcore underground; Black Flag, Fear, Circle Jerks and Suicidal Tendencies with relative unknowns Burning Sensation and Juicy Bananas, topped off with a absolute classic title track written for the film by Iggy Pop (and performed by his then band which featured Steve Jones and Clem Burke).

Initially I couldn’t really see the point of a tribute album, but was curious. In a couple of years it’ll be 30 years since the film came out and a whole new generation of punk-fans are gonna discover it, so why not? .

The big name stars of this album are; Amanda (Fucking) Palmer, Frank Black, Mike Watt (of Minutemen, firehose and reformed Stooges fame) and (cult American songwriter) Matthew Sweet.



The title track/theme song is performed by ‘Those Darlins’, a mostly female country punk quartet who’s 2011’s ‘Screws Get Loose’ album is well worth getting hold of. The song is one of Iggys finest lyrics; a surreal stream of consciousness list-song with some beautiful bizarre couplets. “I was a teenage dinosaur, stoned and obsolete…” Those Darlins nail it and make it their own. Its not a note-perfect version, just a bashed-out cover full of joie de’vivre and a Heartbreakers style swagger.

Polar Bear Club’s righteously kicking cover of ‘TV Party’, Black Flag’s goofiest much-loved anthem to stayin’-in is a fine, faithful performance. It’s actually better than the original in that its faster and better produced.

Suicidal Tendencies ‘Institutionalised’, re-worked in a jazzy Queen of Siam style by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra is perfect. She’s a superb theatrical performer who throws herself into the role with gusto. Its better than the original and the best track on the album; One that you’ll return to time and time again. An absolutely classic song about the generation gap and Amerika (I always saw myself as the narrator, the mixed-up kid. Now I’m father to a 16-year-old son I’m the exasperated parent – which is scary).



New York Rivals pull off a sker-eeching cover of ‘Coup D’Etat’, one of Circle Jerks best songs whilst ‘El Clavo Y La Cruz’ by Black Francis and Spanish for Hitchhiking, as with the Plugz original is sung in Spanish, but is a bit of a pedestrian Los Lobos type twanger and the first lack lustre track on the LP.

‘Pablo Picasso’ by the Tellers is a cover of a cover. With a name like the Tellers they’ve gotta be Jonathan Richman fans right? But they totally re-work the song musically, which threw me at first, but after four or five listens it actually works really well.

‘Let’s Have A War’ is a real gem in US Punk history, by the wonderful Fear. Again performed with joyful enthusiasm by Mike Watt and The Secondmen, with keyboards instead of guitar and the lyrics just as ‘relevant’ and as un-PC as ever: “Lets Have a War! Give guns to the queers!”

A gloriously sleazy gutter-punk-junk version of ‘When The Shit Hits The Fan’ by the Suicide Dolls is a lethargically drawled pleasure. Matthew Sweet’s ‘Hombre Secreto’ is a pleasant run through but featherlight and adds nothing to the original, which is a shame.

Moses Coltrane narrates ‘Bad Man’ –a section of the film script- over a more rocky and less funky backing than the original. but its still utterly hilarious bullshit-talk from the Samuel L. Jackson type character played by Sy Richardson in the movie.

And sadly what should have brought the album to an epic gr - Louder Than War


Stand up and be counted, for what you are about to receive. Gadzooks. It's gigs like this that make us wish we had our own gig rating system. But what would be the top rating? Would it be something empirically awesome like AC/DC's cannon blasts, which would sit atop a range of discrete things each less empirically awesome than the last? Or would it be an award of a number of the same empirically awesome thing, like one Van Halen flaming gong is worst but 10 Van Halen flaming gongs is the best? Clearly, we have a lot of thinking to do. But whatever that hottest rating would be, tomorrow night's show at TT The Bear's Place would absolutely warrant it. Don't let that innocent little flyer above with the candy hearts fool you: these bands are going to blow your face clean off your head, in the nicest way possible. First up are Clicky Clicky faves Soccer Mom, whose dense guitar assault and desperately delivered tunes make the quartet one of the most compelling bands in Boston. Earthquake Party and its convulsive, over-fizzed indie pop follow, and are in turn followed by Connecticut stoner-punk heroes The Suicide Dolls. Top-lining the bill and closing out the night are the Allston-spawned, reverb-eating indie punk titans Young Adults, who will be celebrating (and vending to willing purchasers) their stellar Born In '91 EP (which we wrote about here last week). In sum, this is an evening of rockutainment from which you may never recover. Ear plugs will likely not be enough; you may want to consider ear plugs as well as some sparring headgear to protect your dome whilst you headbang your life away. This will happen. You can thank us later. Now how about some songs? - Clicky Clicky Music Blog


Connecticut legends The Suicide Dolls - Clicky Clicky Music Blog Boston



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Home » Announcements » WailingCity Year End Survey 2012
WailingCity Year End Survey 2012

by Corrine Jensen & Meghan Kllimade

2012. This year the world didn't end... but we did lose some amazing bands to hiatuses and hibernations and sadly, we lost some very talented and loved local music legends.

But through good times and bad, sad times and happy ones, our little scene has continued to evolve and create and impress and no matter what, we’ve always kept the music playing.

Recently we asked a few local musicians and music lovers to name their favorite artist, song and shows of 2012. We also included their hopes for 2013.

We at WailingCity.com look forward to 2013 and all the possibilities it holds and want to thank those who have supported us, and our scene this past year. Cheers!







Marko Fontaine: (DJ at WCNI & WECS / Show goer)
Band: The Suicide Dolls
Song: The Skobie Won/Erik Lamb remix of Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent's "Nostradamos"
Shows: Steve Kaika benefit at Hygienic Art Park and "Rave On Reducers Tribute" CD release at the Rose Barn
2013: Brazen Hussy shows!!



Jaime Duquette: (Bass player at Raise The Rent & CBYD Jazz Trio, show-goer)
Artist: Thor Jensen
Song: "Molotov" - Daphne Lee Martin and Raise The Rent
Shows: Some memorable performances...
The Hoolios at Capt. Scott's
The CBYD Trio, 11/12, The Bean and Leaf
Paul Brockett Roadshow @ Jonathan Edwards Winery
Daphne Lee Martin and Raise the Rent @ The Stone Fleet Tavern
Madam Macadam @ 33 Golden
2013: Paul Brockett Roadshow@ Jonathan Edwards Winery, band-o-matic, music at Hygienic Art Park...


Anne Castellano: (DJ at WCNI / musician Anne Castellano, show-goer)
Band: The Hoolios. Amazing songwriting by Jim Carpenter, and great musicianship all around. May widespread success be theirs in the coming year.
Song: "Mike's Backyard" by the Franklin Brothers. Just TRY to not sing along to this.
Show: The entire Reducers tribute show at the Rose Barn Theater in September. A room full of love and great music.
2013: Surprise me. Really!



Karrie Bulger: (DJ at WCNI / Show goer / The Telegraph crew)
Band: 2012... What a year! I've met and become friends with so many amazing musicians this year, so it's really difficult to choose just one... so I won't haha.
The Suicide Dolls - KILLED it with Prayers in Parking Lots. DAMN!!!
The Sea The Sea - (((SWOON)))
Sidewalk Dave - Hard On Romance
Every single thing Matt Potter does- ever. So. much. talent.
DLM- aka Daphne Lee Martin- the direction she has taken with her latest album - Moxie - blows my mind. Fuzzy Rainbow producing it - perfection.
Song: “Ocean State of Mind” by Kaiser Vilhelm tied with “Islands” and “Don't Hold Your Breath” by Fake Babies.
Shows: Again- can't choose just one...
MADNESS W/ THE FIELD RECORDINGS
SUMMER JAMZ 2012.
Record Store Day @ The Telegraph- 4.21.12
Brown Bird @ The Oasis- 2.25.12
Langhorne Slim @ The Telegraph- 10.23.12
2013: I'm excited to see what Sir Daniel Gallo has up his sleeve for THE FIELD RECORDINGS.
BRAZEN. HUSSY.
QUIET. LIFE.



John Fries: (musician John Fries Music, show-goer)
Artists: Me of course! Just kidding. My Picks are... Band: Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts; Singers: The MacLean Sisters; DJ: Frank Lo
Song: "US 50", Ok just kidding again! "Call My Name" by Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts
Show: The Tribute show for Karl Kelly, it was amazing. The love in the room was like nothing I've ever seen. This version of "Whipping Post" was from the night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsmxPbROC3k
2013: Outdoor shows at the Hygienic Art Park starting up again, it's my favorite place to play in New London.



Rich Martin: (Co-owner of The Telegraph / bassist in Brazen Hussy & Low-Beam / Hygienic Art board)
Band: Impossible!!! Just one? Can't do it!
Best Rock: The Suicide Dolls
Best Americana / Blues: John Fries Band
Best Rap/Hip Hop: Camacho and The Fly Ones
Best New Act: Street People
and The Still Killing it After All These Years Award: Fatal Film
Song: Can I have two?
The Suicide Dolls “Senses” & Elison Jackson “Man from Lowell”
Shows: The Steve Kaika tribute show at the Hygienic Art Park
Lee Ranaldo Band at the Hygienic Art Park
I AM Fest returns with a move up into the downtown
Man Forever hypnotic zen drum set at 33
The Suicide Dolls blowing up all over the place!
2013: Round two of The Rock Lobster band-o-matic!
The release of Daphne Lee Martin's 'Moxie'
I AM Fest on September 7!
WHALIES!



Corrine Jensen: (staff writer for WailingCity.com / show-goer)
Band: How do you not love Full Moon Jamboree? The combo of those 4 guys is amazing and it's nice to see the acclaimed Joey Royale back up on stage where he makes it all look - Wailingcity.com


With a name like Suicide Dolls, I had no idea what to expect from the night’s performance as I walked through the doors of O’Briens. Actually, that’s a lie. I thought I would need earplugs to help me get through screamo music coming from a band made up of those tattooed pin-up girls, but to my pleasant surprise, Suicide Dolls was nothing like that. Instead, the New London, CT band draws influence from bands like Pixies, Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth--their sound is garage/punk, rather than anything close to emo.

Michelle Montavon (also known as “Michelle Suicide”), clearly the doll of the group, rocked red ombre pigtails and black Mary Janes while jamming on bass. Her vocal styling complemented Brian Albano’s (aka Brian Suicide’s) guitar and vocals. Ben LaRose, the newbie on drums, completed the trio that dominated the small O’Brien’s space.

What I particularly enjoy about Suicide Dolls is their evident love of being up on stage, playing their music. It didn’t matter how modest the venue (or crowd) was--they rocked out as if they were in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Such an attitude can give a band a certain edge, and earn appreciation. Because sometimes, it’s not just about the music, but also about the way the musicians sell it. And Suicide Dolls knows how to sell. - Allston Pudding


It was just a monstrously great year for New London's Suicide Dolls - and good for them. They released the superb "Prayers in Parking Lots" album in June; won Best New Act at the New England Music Awards in Boston; won Best Connecticut Rock Band at the Connecticut Music Awards in Hartford; and won Album of the Year and Best Alternative Song at New London's Whalie Awards.

And that's just the tip of the Dollsian iceberg!

In celebration, they're playing an end-of-year show Saturday in New London's Oasis Pub. Included in the fun are two excellent Boston bands: New Highway Hymnal and Velah.

- RICK KOSTER - The Day


The Suicide Dolls Wrap Up a Watershed 2012 with Trademark Ferocity
See their last show of the year at the Oasis Pub in New London on Dec. 29.

The Suicide Dolls (l-r): Brian Albano, Matt Covey, Michelle Montavon. (December 26, 2012)
By Michael Hamad

11:27 a.m. EST, December 26, 2012

Last July, during a busy stretch of gigging, New London’s Suicide Dolls received some promising news.

Joseph Spadaro, founder of the Mystic-based indie label American Laundromat Records, wanted a working Connecticut band to appear on his musical tribute to the ’80s cult-classic film Repo Man. (ALR’s niche is the tribute compilation; previous releases include paeans to the Cure, Neil Young and the Pixies’ Kim Deal, although recently they’ve signed artists for non-tribute recordings.) The other acts on the Repo Man compilation are Amanda Palmer, Frank Black, Matthew Sweet, Mike Watt, Those Darlins, New York Rivals, the Tellers, Moses Coltrane and Weekend.

“No one wanted to jump on the Circle Jerks’ ‘When the Shit Hits the Fan’,” Dolls’ singer/guitarist Brian Albano told the Advocate by phone. “[Spadaro] needed someone to finish it out... He really wanted to get a Connecticut band, one who’s active and doing things right now.”

A friend of Spadaro’s turned him onto the Dolls’ powerful mix of post-grunge punk, noise-rock and tuneful pop. “As a kid, I loved the movie,” Albano said. “When he wanted us to do [the song], I thought that was great, because there are so many lines throughout the song that, throughout my life, I had quoted: ‘Five-pound blocks of cheese / bags of groceries...’ I always thought it was a funny song, and nowadays, it seems very relevant, having this song about how the recession is affecting the attitude of the country.”



Spadaro heard the Dolls, who’ve been together for a decade, and was sold. But with the rest of the album’s tracks already in the can, he wanted “Fan” post-haste. The Dolls scrambled together an arrangement, somewhere between Keith Morris’ acoustic, stripped-down version from the movie soundtrack and the Jerks’ faster, L.A.-punk album-recording. Albano and bassist/vocalist Michelle Montavon sing lead, together. “We had to think quick,” Albano said. “A lot of people love the Circle Jerks, and there was a big chance of upsetting people more than making people happy... We wanted to get this anthem going throughout the song, because there are so many great lyrics. We wanted to build these characters in 2012 who have lost the incentive to go out for work... to believe brighter days are ahead of us, almost this zombie-chorus of no energy, leeching off the state. At the same time, we tried to make the music high-energy, garage-y, still punk-rock sounding... It was a roller-coaster ride, but we’re happy with it, that we were able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all these other artists.”

The Dolls’ go-to recording engineer, Justin Pizzoferrato (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.), wasn’t available, so they recorded it in a single day at New London’s Pwop Studios, owned by Carl Franklin. The Repo Man tribute wasn’t released until September, but the Dolls — Albano, Montavon and drummer Matt Covey — went right back to work, gigging behind their excellent full-length, Prayers in Parking Lots, which was released in June. On the heels of Prayers, the Dolls are still meeting other bands, getting good press, killing it live and winning local awards, including Best Rock Band at this year’s Connecticut Music Awards and Alternative Single of the Year for the 7-minute track, “Smash” at the 2012 New London Whalie Awards. This week, they’ll play a year-ending show at New London’s Oasis Pub, sharing the bill with New Highway Hymnal and Velah, two of the most active bands in the Boston music scene.

The gig is a final push, Albano wrote in a follow-up e-mail, to promote the album “with extra vigor... We're trying to use it as a way to exorcise Prayers in Parking Lots and 2012 and start to focus on invoking the new ideas into the process, hitting the road with them.” The Dolls plan to record a follow-up EP in early 2013, a preview of whatever long-term direction they decide to go in. New songs, Albano said, are “starting to itch,” and the next direction looks “moody.” “There's already too many happy bands and we've always taken the road less traveled,” Albano wrote. “The problem is we want slower moody songs, we also want even faster rocking songs as well, we want the polarities of Parking Lots, if you will, but we want it to be honest and true, not instant.” That will take considerable experimentation, half in their basement and half on the road. “We're perfectly a true blend of people who are overly ambitious and active yet hopelessly slackers... I guess that's bipolar? Hopefully the next few weeks/months of road shows will show us the way.”

Writing and recording a full-length album can be galvanizing; you focus on a particular set of songs and carry that energy out into your live set. For som - CT.com


Thinking back through the year, there are tons of songs, records, shows, happenings and people who provide favorites from 2012.

Here are some of those.

Boston Emissions playlist – December 30, 2012

Kingsley Flood – Pick Your Battles from Battles, 2013
— Coming Attractions! New KF due in Feb. Next hometown show is St, Feb 9 at Brighton Music Hall. Their star will continue to rise.

Camden – Talking (On the Telephone) from Getting Around, 2012
—Love this pop/punk triumph.

The Organ Beats – Goldenheart from Goldenheart, Nov 2012
—Great record from a great band. I especially love the title track.

Christie Prince – Roam from Vanilla Girl, July 2012
–A favorite discovery from Summer of 2012

Mellow Bravo – Leave When You Please from Mellow Bravo, 2012
—Lots of favorites here. I love the record, I love the songs. I love to see them live. Truly some of the best people. Favorites all around.


mellowbravo1 Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood: Year In Favorites 2012

Vivian Darkbloom – I’m Not What You Need from Know Your Exit, Feb 2012
—I heart VD. This was on the list as soon as it came out in early 2012. Not sure what the band is up to now but this is a stellar one-off if that’s all we get.

Ted Billings – American Bedroom from American Bedroom, Dec 2012
—Ted, formerly known for his great work in Age Rings, brings us this solo gem. Despite getting scolded by him publicly for making fun of Kanye West’s 12/12/12 performance, I think this record is tops. Ted is genius, Kanye not so much.

Mean Creek – Do You Know? from Youth Companion, Oct 2012
—Talk about a band getting it done. MC deserves every accolade they’ve gotten. I want everything and more for them. This song stands out for me, super props to Erik’s solid bass line.

The Suicide Dolls – Drive from Prayers in Parking Lots, June 2012
—Boston Emissions is about supporting New England rock as well as Boston proper. The Dolls, from Connecticut, have been playing in the city more than some Boston bands. Great job on this one.

Ruby Rose Fox – The Dread from Ruby Rose Fox, July 2012
—I look forward to the year ahead for Ruby. She has a supremely unique and refreshing style. I probably played this song 500 times alone in my car.

Mount Peru – Lay Low Geronimo from Your Kingdom’s Come Undone, March 2012
—Loved this song from the moment I heard it. Cannot go wrong with hand claps in my book. I dig their rock-meets-alt-country-add-a-trumpet-singer-sounds-like -Van-Morrison sound.

Waylon Speed – Silver and Gold from Valance, 2012
—I’d heard a lot about WS and finally saw them at Tweed River Music Festival this past Summer. They have this shit down tight. Underground Outlaw Dirt Rock you say? The Devil Came Down From Burlington (VT).

OldJack – Radio from White Label Series, March 2012
—This year is rife with favorites. We have managed to build a family in the music community. One of my favorite ambassadors is Dan Nicklin. He carries the good word about what I do with the show, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble and made sure to take me with him to the BMAs this year when he found out I wasn’t included or invited. It’s good to have friends.

Garvy J. – Will To Live from Will To Live, Feb 2013!
—Josh/Garvy J. is another one of the relationships built from our time at this year’s Rumble. We did many shows of note this year. I look very forward to the release of this new Garvy J. – and the Secret Pockets of Hope and Resistance – EP. He is a tremendous talent and people need to hear him.

The Field Effect – Ogunquit, ME from Cartography, Dec 2012 (previously released on bandcamp, Aug 2012)
—Big year for TFE and they are just getting started. Here’s to the best new band of 2012, cheers to a bigger 2013.

The Appreciation Post – The Stroke from the Appreciation Post Covers, 2012 (bandcamp)
—I enjoy this maybe more than a person should. And it’s certainly the closest I will get to playing Billy Squier on Boston Emissions. Tasty jam, kids.

Sherman Burns – Bog Machine from Night Fires, 2011
—One of my favorite Rumble moments: watching the crowd reaction to Sherman Burns’ set. They were ridiculous and went on to wild card into the semi-finals.
—-Tues, Dec 31 at Radio upstairs and downstairs, NYE with Whitey, Tenafly Vipers, Daniel Costa from the Under // Sidewalk Driver, Eldridge Rodriguez

Cult 45 – Point Your Finger from On High,2013
—First major release of the New Year! Fri, Jan 4 at Radio, Union Square, Somerville with Chelsea on Fire (reunion!), White Dynamite, Slim Lizzy
—-Now featuring Jeff Fultz of Mellow Bravo too. Beautiful art design by bass player, Bob Maloney! (Song is not available on their bandcamp but enjoy)

Emma Ate The Lion – Patterns & Fingerprints from Nothing Important Happened Today, July 2011
—A favorite find of 2012. They have nothing new until early 2013, I’ve asked, but I wanted to share them as part of things to look forward to in the new year.

Mals Totem – Strangest Motion from Strangest - Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood




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All Blogs >> On The Download >> [sound of the city] WFNX Boston Accents' Top 75 standout jams of 2012
[sound of the city] WFNX Boston Accents' Top 75 standout jams of 2012
Published Dec 27 2012, 02:35 PM by Michael Marotta
0

It was a pretty great year of Boston music in 2012. Several bands broke out of the imaginary confines of our city and brought our sound to global audiences, from Amanda Palmer to Converge to Passion Pit to the Dropkicks. But the real sounds of Boston were cultivated around Allston and Somerville, in Cambridge and Brookline, as well as all the surrounding cities and towns, all helping to craft a soundtrack of Boston that felt unparalleled compared to recent years. Here's a list of 75 standout jams from the past year, the tracks that filled the weekly playlists of Boston Accents, listed by band, alphabetically, with one rule: only one song selection per band. We could have listed 150, but decided to pool 75 and leave them unranked.

Not all are from specifically Boston; New England is represented, from Maine (Sunset Hearts) to Connecticut (Suicide Dolls), with a few entries from Western Mass (Speedy Ortiz, Potty Mouth). And some artists/bands have left Boston over the past year (Grand Resort, Black Light Dinner Party), but we've accounted for these songs being part of Boston in one way or another (the band having roots here, someone going to school here, etc.). We're not pretending like this is a defining list -- just the songs that defined Boston Accents.

Yesterday on the show, we spun 15 of these, and we'll spin another 15 more today, then get to as many as we can tomorrow, all airing live each day at 5pm EST on WFNX.com.

Thanks for listening.

Abadabad “All the Bros Say” -- Standout jam from September’s The Wild, breakout pick for 2013 ready to emerge from the Allston basements and clubs.

***

Air Traffic Controller “Hurry Hurry” – If this list was ranked, this would be a Top 5 selection. Nominated for Song of the Year in the 2012 Boston Music Awards, and probably should have won. Off the critically-acclaimed Nordo LP.

***

Amanda Palmer “Do It With A Rockstar” – Love her or hate her, or both, she had a pretty good 2012 and is one of our city’s nationally recognized music figures. Had some success with that Kickstarter thing.

***

Andre Obin “Lemondrop” – Somerville/Cambridge producer temporality shelves his Soviet-bloc techno for a chillwave vibe. The Electronic Artist of the Year in the 2012 BMAs.

***

Animal Talk “Mama Was A Teenage Rocker” – Post-dance indie rock band channels ‘70s classic rock with glorious results.

***

Art Decade “I Try” – Part of a larger conceptual vision from Ben Talmi, adding a theatric sound to rock and roll; off May’s Western Sunrise.

***

Autochrome “Senses” – Desolate punk-punk from a band that unfortunately is on hiatus; March’s Separation Realms one of the best records Factory never put out.

***

AVOXBLUE “The Confessional” – Jimmy Rossi’s icy synthpop a far cry from his psych-rock work with December Sound; off the A Place Without Time EP, which was recently re-released on blue vinyl.

***

Bad Rabbits “We Can Roll” – Teaser single off next year’s American Love and American Dreams LPs, which sure to blow up in 2013. Been waiting on new jams from the Rabbits crew for roughly two years, and “We Can Roll” is a heavy post-R&B number that pulverizes after just one listen. Stage-dive central.

***

Bathaus “Inferno” – Ladies and germs, witchhaus is not just for October anymore! Ashley Capachione’s choir-pop sounds are haunting.

***

Bearstronaut “Birds Of Prey” – Tanktop-pop goes disco as the former Lowell band relocated to Somerville and launches a thousand living room dance parties; off November’s Paradice EP.

***

Bent Shapes “Brat Poison” – The artist formerly known as Girlfriends spits scene vitriol in reminding us that “We could emulate a sunshine state, but New England’s dreaming.”

***

Birthdays “Howolding Girls” – Sammy Yager throws down some sunny vibes while experimenting with electronics, issuing a self-titled solo record that is more enjoyable the more you peel back the layers.

***

Black Light Dinner Party “Leave It All” – Boston-born quartet of producers now mostly reside in NYC, but keep turning out impressive electro-pop mini-anthems.

***

Bodega Girls “Surf’s Up Amer - The Boston Phoenix




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THE SUICIDE DOLLS talk about their album and their improbable wins at local music awards shows where they’re totally out-of-place ultra-cool underdogs
Tony Shrum December 13, 2012 0

Photo by Meghan Killimade

THE SUICIDE DOLLS
Interview with vocalist/bassist Michelle Montavon and vocalist/guitarist Brian Albano
By Janelle Jones

After speaking with SUICIDE DOLLS bassist/vocalist Michelle Montavon for my piece on the A Tribute To Repo Man record and finally hearing their latest album, Prayers In Parking Lots, I had to talk to her again about her band in detail. So, along with speaking to Michelle I also got to talk to guitarist/vocalist Brian Albanothis time around and had so much fun in the process. Two old-school-punk, hardworking, DIY rockers who also play with drummer Matt Covey (SHAI HULUD), we discussed their improbable (!) wins at local music awards shows where they’re totally out-of-place ultra-cool underdogs and their album, recorded by Justin Pizzoferrato (Thurston Moore, DINOSAUR JR., FREE KITTEN), quite possibly my favorite record of 2012.

You were going to that awards show the day after I talked to you. How did that go?

Michelle: It was interesting because we got nominated for it, top five rock bands in Connecticut. We weren’t gonna go and then we went and we ended up winning it.

Brian: We won best rock [band] and we were sitting in the aisle cracking jokes with each other, and all these awards shows we’ve been going to-we’re usually these rogue misfits and now we keep going to these awards and we keep winning. We went to this one award show in our town so it was cool but we’ve been going all over the East Coast and these awards shows are no different than any sort of how everything’s sort of rock scene cliquish right now. We go to these awards shows and everybody knows each other except us. So it’s funny too because every time we go everyone looks at us like, “What?!” [Laughs] It’s four bands that know each other and then us. And when we win they’re all looking at each other like, “Something’s wrong!”

I got to hear this last awesome record, and you’re still putting it all out on your own. Are the other bands you’re competing against DIY too? Or…?

Michelle: We’re not sure. And that’s the weird thing because it’s true what he said, we got there and there’s a lot of bands we’ve never heard of and it’s weird because we feel like we know so many bands from the whole area from three or four or five states over just because we’ve been so active for the last few years. So they did a thing where we had to perform with a bunch of the finalists and winners. And there’s a reason why we didn’t know. It’s just not the same thing. It was like taking us out of the underground and putting us on Main Street for a night. So we just stuck out like a sore thumb. We were so different from everyone else. Everything was very radio-friendly, just not what I’ve ever played with before. A couple people who were the finalists in the rock category were like if STAIND and 311 had a baby. I’m like, “No. That’s not what we do!” We went on after them, we were one of the headliners, and I could just see them looking at us like, “Are you serious? This is what won?” And it’s like, yeah, our little grubby three-piece.

Brian: The bass player from LIVING COLOUR was the one that announced it. [Laughter] But he seemed to know everyone in the Hartford area, so when we won, he even went, “Okay…”

Michelle: “Okay… THE SUICIDE DOLLS.” [Laughter]

That’s cool though.

Michelle: It is.

Brian: Other than Boston has a really good diverse scene right now, but a lot of scenes even though they’ll have really great equipment and really great haircuts and they got a publicist and stuff, they only play their scene and area. A lot of people don’t venture outside the area anymore. We venture outside many different areas and we don’t belong to one sort of cut-and-paste scene so when we show up at these shows, no one knows who we are. But then they don’t realize we didn’t just pay somebody to let everybody know about us; we’ve been on the phone, we’ve been on the computer, we’ve been playing other cities. We have a bigger fanbase than they realize. We’ve been going night and day with this thing.

Also, now that you’re getting all these accolades, do you think your next record you might go with a label?

Brian: It’s tough because we’re winning all these accolades right now and we got fans in more than one scene and we’re being known on the road in all these places and yet we’re still sorta up against this sort of old dinosaur mentality with the record labels. They see what’s going on. “We like your press. We like - AMP Magazine


A TRIBUTE TO REPO MAN – By Janelle Jones
Tony Shrum December 12, 2012

A TRIBUTE TO REPO MAN
By Janelle Jones

Yes, it’s a brilliant ‘80s cult classic film but Repo Man is also a classic punk film that really captured the era, written and directed by Alex Cox, a man who was a constant at shows and just a true fan of the scene. As you’ll read below from many of the participants included on the excellent new A Tribute To Repo Man album and some from the original soundtrack itself, the movie had great influence in people’s lives and getting them into SoCal punk. With a soundtrack that included bands like CIRCLE JERKS, BLACK FLAG, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, FEAR and Iggy Pop and a score by THE PLUGZ, it’s still to this day one of the raddest soundtracks around. So I guess it was a no-brainer for American Laundromat Records owner Joe Spadaro to tackle this project.

“Repo Man” – THOSE DARLINS (Originally performed by Iggy Pop)

Interview with drummer Linwood Regensburg

On the song they chose to cover:

I think that was the only one that all of us were 100 percent [into doing]. It’s a little intimidating thinking of the fact that you’re gonna record a song and the person who sang the song is somebody whom you put on a very high [pedestal]. Sometimes I think about it, I wonder if he’ll hear this and just be like, “Ugh!!” But when you’re having fun you don’t really think about those things at the time. We kept it pretty much exactly like it was, which I think our first intention wasn’t. But sometimes if we’re learning somebody else’s song we won’t make any changes but it’ll just end up sounding a little bit off I guess. And this time it didn’t happen for whatever reason. One thing that happened is we recorded a version of it at my house when we were learning it and Jessi was trying to figure out one of the verses and we were all listening to it and were like, “I don’t know what he said there.” You cannot find any copies of it anywhere. There were a couple of lines we had to go back and literally slow it down to figure it out. I had read a story about how when they recorded it they showed up at the studio there was no song, there was no anything, and Iggy Pop showed up with a bag of coke and put it out and everybody there thought, “Oh cool, we’re gonna get this going.” And then Iggy Pop did the whole thing himself. Everybody else just sat there like, “Oh my god, what’s about to happen?” And then Steve Jones plays on the song and a couple other people I can’t think of off the top of my head, basically just jammed. And then when he heard them playing he was like, “Okay, yeah, yeah,” and apparently Iggy wrote all the lyrics while he sang the song. I don’t think he even knows what the lyrics are. A lot of them are just lines, they don’t make sense. The imagery is cool and really dark and it fits the film well, whether he meant to or not.

On the significance of the film:

I think I first saw it when I was six years old. I watched it a couple times when I was way too young to actually get anything out of it, but I remember watching it again when I was like 17 and just thinking, oh wow, what’s this band? And in some ways that film spawned me getting into punk music or at least like L.A. punk music. It was definitely one of the steps. I think that it’s shot really, really well. I feel like people who don’t like punk can still get into it. You can just watch it as a sci-fi thing. One funny thing I think about the movie is every single character, they don’t care. Nobody really smiles throughout the whole film.

“TV Party” – POLAR BEAR CLUB (Originally performed by BLACK FLAG)

Interview with vocalist Jimmy Stadt

On how they got involved with the project:

This just piqued our interest because it was a cool idea and we wanted to be a part of something like that, but then also the other bands and artists that were doing it. We sorta wondered why we got asked to do it as well in that category of artists we love and we’d love to do more things like that. Generally we get asked to do comps with pop-punk bands, which isn’t necessarily how we’d identify ourselves or who we would identify ourselves with. But to be asked to do something like this, like nothing we’ve ever been asked to do before, we of course said yes. It had this pure punk energy whereas POLAR BEAR CLUB, people describe us as, yeah it’s punk but it’s post-punk or it’s this type of punk. It was cool for us to swing for the fences with that word that’s been loosely used to describe us.

On the song they chose to cover:

I don’t think we would’ve picked any other song. It was so much fun and it was so different for us. We just went there and did it in six hours or something. We debated do we wanna put somewhat of our own spin on a version that was pretty close to the original already? But also if we were to do a different arrangement we would’ve liked to think about it a little more. It was more like ‘we’re on tour right now. We need to go rec - AMP Magazine


Best Rock: the Suicide Dolls

The Suicide Dolls' muscular, propulsive sound calls to mind the burly, post-punk-rooted underground rock of the '90s more than it does most of the indie buzz bands of the past decade or so, and bassist/vocalist Michelle Montavon acknowledges that. "There's not a lot of us left," she says of their breed. And yet, there's a lot in their music for diverse crowds to latch onto — the push-and pull between her singing and Brian Albano's declamatory vocals, Albano's use of rich guitar tones and squalls of noise, a pop sensibility behind the arc of their songs, a bit of menace and an approachable form. "We're not using the major notes," Montavon says. "We're a really emotional band." And yet, she says of the Suicides' audiences and fellow musicians, "we're always warmly embraced. Some of the punk bands like us and some of the metal bands, the shoegaze bands." They recently opened for hardcore punk band Ceremony and new wave vets the Fixx three days apart — "and it worked!," she says. Longtime road warriors, the Suicide Dolls are currently playing around four shows per month supporting their recent album, Prayers in Parking Lots, says Montavon, "and most of them are out of town" (they're based in New London). In October, they're releasing a single containing their cover of the Circle Jerks' "When the Shit Hits the Fan," which they recorded for a new tribute to the Repo Man soundtrack, and Montavon says the band is entering a "writing frenzy," with new songs sounding "a little softer and a little harder." - CT.Com



Various Artists – A Tribute to Repo Man






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There’s two school of thoughts regarding cover versions: one vehemently asks to don’t mess with a classic, another declares that it’s both a homage and a chance for newer generations to find the lesser known influences from the past. If you are in the second band and want to cover something, where to start and how much do you deviate from the original?

Mark Kozelek has been doing it for ages. He’s covered AC/DC, Modest Mouse and more, transforming them from their genres into beautiful acoustic numbers. Some of the songs were well known, others weren’t.

In the case of Repo Man (the film), it is a gem of a film that also serves as a perfect reflection of a punk scene (down to the posers crowd), while still being a veritable who’s who of proper punk (Circle Jerks, I’m looking at you!). The soundtrack is quite well revered (I hope it is!) and it’s a daunting task. So let’s go over this in a track by track manner:

‘Repo man’ is covered by Those Darlins, who crank the distortion up, keep the same pace and offer those lyrics about being worn out by the day to day grind a good injection of life. The dissatisfied lyrics still resonating in these hard times.

Plate of shrimp.

Polar Bear Club take on ‘TV party’ and although it’s still an honourable anthem to coach potatoes, the lyrics have been upgraded slightly (“Friday night lights!“), just to tap on the current Zeitgeist. Loud and brash.

2 tracks and you could argue that they aren’t pushing the envelope (which is cool, they love the original material too much) and then we run into Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. Which song they covered? Suicidal Tendencies‘ ‘Institutionalised’. Look, I love the original, but this is fucking awesome. Again, changes to the lyrics because the protagonist is different, but the message (and the frantic desperation) is spot on, with the new musical arrangement adding 7 more layers of madness. This is quite a highlight (the sax solos are crazy). Someone buy her a Pepsi.

New York Rivals take on Circle Jerks and this is a Salomonic decision for me: the original is amazing and the post punky/spacey style of this might take away the aggressiveness of the original, but the message is still there, undiluted, like concentrate sulphuric acid in a pool of water: looks safe, care to dip in?

The one and only Black Francis takes on The Plugz‘s ‘El clavo y la cruz’. It’s the Lento Rodríguez to the Speedy González of the original and he’s made the song his own. This is cool by itself, but I’m more impressed by his Spanish accent. The solo is deliciously easy paced.

The Tellers make ‘Pablo Picasso’ a more fashionable track, an interesting take that has a pop suit well tailored for it (for someone who is only five foot thee). Mike Watt & The Second Men abandon hope and go into a happening. They return with warpaint on and a good cover version (I prefer A Perfect Circle‘s take myself, but this is good).

Have I mentioned that I like Circle Jerks? Their hilarious self-parody in the film and the acoustic version of ‘When the shit hits the fan’ were always a dear part of the film and The Suicide Dolls do their best to imprint their psychedelic garage on the track. I was going to dismiss this, but I stopped being a fucking fanboy and gave it a good grade, especially because when the cover seems to end, they then play it in a faster way (as it was re-recorded for Golden Shower of hits as a punkier track). This and Amanda Palmer‘s are the top cuts right now.

Matthew Sweet singing in Spanish. Did that sink in? He actually does a good job (miles better than Bryan Adams or Bon Jovi ever did) and the classy ‘Hombre secreto’ is a song that suits him quite well. Always loved the riff.

There’s only one character you should fear in Repo Man and that character is Lite. That’s why he had his own theme tune (which he also sang!) called ‘Bad Man’. The funky 80s track has received a Cybermen-styled make up, with a crunchy guitar lick accompanying the “fuck with me and I’ll 86 you, punk!” voice of Moses Coltrane. Take the car, man! I know you ain’t no cop!

‘Reel ten’ was the reverberated guitar ditty that guided us slowly to the skies. It was a frank tribute to the 50s style of rock and roll while still being a fresh track. Weekend‘s take on The Plugz classic pays tribute to 80s synth, with some darker atmospheres and swells (love the flanger filter – blast off!). Perfect cover.

Make me choose three tracks as the best ones in this collection and I’ll go for The Suicide Dolls, Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra and Weekend. Ask me if this makes a good tribute to an excellent album and I’ll answer yes. It respects the source material and adds its own style to each track. So eat a few pecan pies and listen with an open mind.

This album is out now on American Laudromat Records (link). - Sloucher.org


Alex Cox's 1984 cult classic film Repo Man is a film I connect with on so many levels. In addition to its being my favorite punk rock film, a story that is both funny and bizarrely paranoid in a way that both captures and parodies the overall feel of America during the Cold War, it had a soundtrack that was absolutely spectacular. Before I'd even seen the film, I had the soundtrack on a black plastic cassette someone had given me, simply bearing the words "REPO MAN" on the side in magic marker. This tape would be the soundtrack for many nights cruising in my car, and cranked at just as many skate sessions. It was just as much the soundtrack to my life at the time as it was for the film.

When I heard that American Laundry Records would be releasing A Tribute To Repo Man, with a bunch of new artists recreating the original soundtrack, I was both elated and nervous. Would it match up to the power of the original, which featured the likes of Iggy Pop, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies and Circle Jerks? Would the bands do the tracks justice? Would the bands chosen for the album even be worthy of it, or would this just be like those numerous and painful Punk Goes... compilations.

The only way to find out was to simply press play and see.

In order for this album to be successful (to me anyway), it would need to come on strong, with a flawless cover of Iggy Pop's "Repo Man," the theme to the film. It would need to embody the paranoia of Iggy's surreal cover, without being a tired rehash. And Nashville's Those Darlins proved up to the task, delivering their take on the original with a way that grabs hold of its paranoid feel from moment one. Polar Bear's cover of Black Flag's "TV Party" is just as perfect, holding onto the punk energy, and mindless fun of the original, updating the show titles to something more present day without coming across as a parody.

One of the tracks that I was more excited and afraid to hear was how Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra would handle Suicidal Tendencies thrash classic "Institutionalized," wondering if Palmer would go for its original fury or simply turning into something overly artsy. Once again, I had no reason to fear, as always Palmer delivers with a track that, despite having a horn section, is an aggressive and paranoid tune, displaying Palmer in a seriously intense light, maintaining both elements of the thrash-heavy nature of the original and Palmer's theatrical nature that has elevated her to being the true queen of the punk cabaret. While it can't quite compare with the original, taking on that song in any sort of serious fashion is a lofty goal, and Palmer's result needs to be applauded for its effort, integrity and sincerity.

Not every track hits the mark of 100 percent satisfaction for me. New York Rival's cover of the Circle Jerks is a bit overblown, with elements of death rock and without the energy of the original, while The Tellers version of the The Burning Sensations' "Pablo Picasso," itself a cover of Jonathan Richman's original is a lilting funky version that doesn't compare with the soundtrack version (although to be fully fair, the Sensations set their versions to "The Peter Gunn Theme" and really tore it up with a version that would be hard to match.

But for each of those tracks that don't quite hit the mark are mutiple tracks that do. Black Francis & Spanish For Hitchhiking produce a take on the Plugz' "El Clavo Y La Cruz" that is a drfting melodic improvement on the original, and Mike Watt & The Everyman's cover of Fear's "Let's Have A War," while light on the hardcore energy, takes a dirty organ-fueled approach that rocks hard.

The Suicide Dolls cover the Circle Jerks' "When The Shit Hits The Fan" (which the band performed as a lounge act in the film) in a fuzzed-out approach that sounds almost exactly how I'd expect the Vaselines to take on the punk classic, and Matthew Sweet's version of The Plugz' "Hombre Secreto" (A Spanish Cover of "Secret Agent Man") is fun and satisfactory, while Moses Coltrane's delivery of Juicy Bananas' "Bad Man" is another track that goes beyond the original, becoming an even more bad ass cruising song than the original - and that is no mean feat.

"Reel Ten," by The Plugz, which closed out the original soundtrack, always seemed like an afterthought, as does Weekend's cover on the tribute. Weekend has turned it into a dark dreamy soundscape with a big lush sound. It's not bad for what it is, but like the original, I tend to skip past it and back to front, to catch the theme once again.

At its whole, Tribute is nowhere near as good as the original - but how could it be? The original was influential and virtually perfect - why else would it merit a tribute? Attempting to recreate a masterpiece is difficult because of the fact that the original is a masterpiece in the first place. It's a lofty aspiration that will ultimately pale in comparison. One's only hope is to match up in a way that's not - About.Com Punk Music


Compilations of artists covering other artists thematically or conceptually are some of the very best and worst albums in our collections, aren't they? I never knew one could admit to liking The Carpenters till that one came out with Sonic Youth et al in the early 90s; actually, I didn't like The Carpenters until a bunch of respected alternative musicians covered 'em and sent me back to listen to the originals.

That is the glorious thing about "tribute albums" when they work: You can find out just how time-lasting the original songs are, whether the anthology is made up of a selection of various songs (hits and otherwise) from a specific band, or as a devotion to a certain work or theme. The drawback is that enjoyment of covers can be a very subjective thing, depending on which musician is covered or covering (I love it when The Jam covered Motown songs; but Phil Collins' "You Can't Hurry Love," not so much). There's currently a Fleetwood Mac tribute out now that I haven't heard, but the reviews are sort of the same as they always tend to be: It's a nice collection of spot on and somewhat off.

"Always Indie" label American Laundromat Records put out a double CD (!) Smiths compilation earlier this year, and it finds its way into my stereo regularly. Please, Please, Please: A Tribute To The Smiths has gotten better-than-usual reviews, and for good reason: It's a class act, from the very complimentary packaging to the quality artists you could tell grew up spending warm summer days in-doors writing frightening verse to all four sides of Louder Than Bombs.

Yes, there have been a few Smiths tributes before this one (including a really horrible late 90s era emo-powered one from a certain otherwise excellent label that I could barely sit through once), but it's the selection of confident veterans like Tanya Donelly (with Dylan in the Movies) on "Shoplifters of the World Unite," besides crackling newcomers like Port Townsend's Solvents (who punk-folk a very delightful "Is It Really So Strange?" which is perfect for listening to with a knapsack of old literature and post-break up love letters as one travels across the Sound via ferry to find a horse to kill). The second disc is a lot stronger than the first for me, probably merely because it has the artists I'm most keen on here: Mike Viola (from the Candy Butchers, here with The Section Quartet) slowing "How Soon Is Now?" down to a cello-flecking heartbeat about to burst. Seattle's own Trespassers William takes "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" even lower and starker, and somehow makes you not pine for Andy Rourke's gorgeous bass on the original by offering up truly smoldering vocals. There's gobs of more goodness on both full-lengths though.

Coming out this summer is American Laudromat's A Tribute To Repo Man, a very rare case of an original soundtrack anthology being covered by a whole new set of bands. This is a choice idea, and I hope will encourage more creative thematic compilations than just bands covering other bands randomly. And the selections are passionately performed and respectfully executed and recorded all the way through, being a cohesive album listening experience, and not sounding like a patchwork homage.

I will confess: I never owned the original Repo Man LP, as I had most of the songs I wanted from the genius movie already on their own releases. So now I feel like I was really missing something, as it holds together so well as a document of mutated Los Angeles street life (and I really should have absorbed the whole thing in LP format in the first place). Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra breathe fiery new life (and femme rage) into Suicidal Tendencies' legendary "Institutionalized"; her vocal performance alone is a huge stand out on any tribute albums you'll hear. Black Francis & Spanish For Hitchhiking cover the originally oompa-paced "El Clavo Y La Cruz" as a bluesy sizzler, more fit for a Tarantino showdown than an Alex Cox chase scene. Along the same lines, Matthew Sweet kicks out a really sharp and sexy "Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man)" covering a cover better than I remember the original cover's cover being. (Ha.)

The Suicide Dolls take on the most challenging task, in my opinion, by trying to blend both the original punk rock feel of the Circle Jerks' "When The Shits The Fan" with the band's own lounge parody of it. Instead, they change it into an X-style rave up that expresses both the burn out of living in Hollywood along with the energy of hope of moving there in the first place. "Let's Have A War" is a faithful cover of a prime Fear song by Mike Watt (& The Secondmen) that lacks a bit of the ferocity of Lee Ving's original venomous original, but hey come on - it's fucking Mike Watt, and he can growl like a desolation angel.

Both A Tribute To Repo Man and the Smiths covers anthology are various artist albums that are not (or shouldn't be) destined for the dollar bins. They are not random, but w - Three Imaginary Girls


The Suicide Dolls take on the most challenging task, in my opinion, by trying to blend both the original punk rock feel of the Circle Jerks' "When The Shits The Fan" with the band's own lounge parody of it. Instead, they change it into an X-style rave up that expresses both the burn out of living in Hollywood along with the energy of hope of moving there in the first place. - Three Imaginary Girls


Although it's just a 2 hour drive, New London, CT is far enough to be just that. Far. It is however a place where my dad was stationed in the Navy on the USS Fulton during the late '60s/early '70s, and the place where my parents got married. So it will always be a little dear to me. Here is my chat with Brian James Albano of the Suicide Dolls who play in Boston as regularly as a Boston band and call this their satellite home. Or as Albano (not Captain Lou) says: "Boston is great. The music scene and communtiy has a real life and energy to it. It's like finding that girl you are ready to settle down with."

Their current line-up of Albano on guitar, Michelle Montavon on bass and Matt Covey on drums has been together since 2006. Read on to hear Albano's life philosophy, to hear him make up words and to hear him dish on the Suicide Dolls' maximum rock & roll.

USS Fulton 2.jpg


JD: My folks used to live in New London. My dad was on the Fulton back in the day.

BJA: Yeah so you know New London then, city by the Long Island Sound, sub base, the city Benedict Arnold burnt to the ground when he betrayed the colonies, hahaha.

JD: What's it like there? My dad used to regale us with tales of Patsy's Grinders long gone. What's the music scene like? I don't think Boston musicians know much about it.

BJA: Yeah! Patsy's Grinders! I remember that when I was a kid. New London is pretty cool. It's smack dead in the middle of New York and Boston, so it's a great starting place for roadshows or tours for us. It's also a great place to bring bands who are touring and need a stop in between dates at NYC and Boston. New London is kinda like if you took Allston and put it by itself right next to the Long Island Sound/Atlantic Ocean.

For a small town/city, it has a very productive and artistic community. Within one mile you have four music venues that are extremely active, art galleries, independent records stores, DIY music venues/art shops, and colleges on each side of the city (Connecticut College and Mitchell College). The place has a strong sense of creativity. There's a lot of bands here, and each band sounds different than the next, there's no cookie cutting going on. Bands love to pass through New London. The crowds are great, they treat bands well.

We were really allowed to be ourselves here and develop our sound, which helped us as a road band mixing with other cities, sounds, and scenes. Boston bands like Pretty & Nice, 28 Degrees Taurus and Ghost Box Orchestra have recently played New London. Boston bands should check new London out. It's alwasy good for a band to grow by doing road shows, and new London could easily become a second home to boston bands that desire to roam and travel.

d43.jpg

JD: So, let's talk about the album. Prayers in Parking Lots--when did you put it out?

BJA: We just put it out back in March. It's been getting a lot of good press in blogs and print. It's tough as we're experienced in being a live road band, but now we're learning to promote an album. Short answer, March.

JD: Tell me your greater philosophy of life, including music, love, God, death and wisdom.
KIDDING.

BJA: Hahaha....I'm so chatty, I was getting ready to answer. I'm not cool at all, so I'm never at a loss for words.

JD: Lets just start with the guitars. Why do you play so bloody loud?

BJA: Energy for one. I guess angst for another. We live in a crazy loud world, and the guitars need to reflect that. Plus if you are loud all the time, then when you are quiet, it's even louder.

JD: The first song kinda reminds me of KISS. What do you think is really diffrent from what you do, and good old fashioned American butt-rock?

BJA: Our songs, at lest for this album, are a rhinosaurus (sp) of energy & emotion and the guitars and music have to reflect that. There is a lot of old-fashioned American rock, we grew up on that, and we mix rock and pop. But what seperates us is we also add in punk and we also add in noise. The lyrics are less are the "let's party" and more "the house the party's in is on fire." We're not telling you everything is all right, we're telling you everything is wrong but could get better if you just gave a damn for one minute.

Plus one second we're a regular rock band and then next we might tear a song down and go into a noise explosion and start taking screwdriver and drumsticks to our guitar strings. Or tear the rock song down with a noise storm and then, you know, build it back to the old verse/chorus/verse/chorus.

JD: Why do you think that rock musicians need to differentiate? It seems like there is a pretty perfect template laid down already. While I get what you are saying, I am thinking more in general about how rock musicians do sort of think they are all different from one another---yet for someone raised on classical music, they may hear the loudness and just think it all sounds the same.

BJA: I don't think musicians need to greatly differentiate, just - Boston.Com / Inbound Sounds


Ever since the Whalers left Hartford 15 years go, Connecticut has served as little more than a paved-highway buffer zone that one is required to traverse when visiting New York City by car or bus. From first passing the Ruby Road exit on I-84 to that shit-clogged stretch of I-95 that slowly belches automobiles out of the Constitution State, the trip through Connecticut is a bizarre experience. New London’s THE SUICIDE DOLLS know these roads well, and their 2012 high-octane album Prayers in Parking Lots is a suitable suburban rallying cry for the noisy alt-rock they’ve been honing since 2002. The park-and-ride soundtrack jam on Prayers is “Shoo,” a swirling, droning, early-’90s guitar-charger that finds co-vocalist Michelle Montavon in a hypnotic state. Which state she’ll be in when the Dolls crash O’Brien’s Pub in Allston on Friday, July 20 for the Quiet Loudly record release show (a bill that also features Velah and New Hampshire's noisy garage rock upstarts the Migs) is anyone’s guess, but grab the “Shoo” MP3 in the meantime and get ur nutmeg on. - The Boston Phoenix


Yesterday marc the intern and i did what we do every monday. we threw all the names of bands that submitted tracks to the show into a hat and pulled out todays featured band. this week we would like to introduce you to The Suicide Dolls. this experimental garage punk band from connecticut sent their latest album Prayers In Parking Lots for us to listen to.

their facebook reads like my list of favorites: they draw influence from bands like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, The Jesus Lizard, Pixies, and most other classic alternative, punk & no-wave artists. i listened to the album and their influences definitely shine through. tracks like Brand New Close By screams Sonic Youth. others like Eye, Want, and my favorite Senses could easily be Pixies tracks. the album is rocked out and really good. take a listen to my favorite track below and if you enjoy the album, do what people do in that situation. - Beneath Everything


Admittedly, I haven’t been the biggest Ceremony fan in the past. That changed in a big way when they made the jump to Matador Records and released Zoo, what I consider their finest album to date. When I heard that Manic Productions would be booking Ceremony at The Space in Hamden, CT, with Living Laser and The Suicide Dolls, I knew I needed to experience what this new direction for the band sounded like live.

New London, CT’s The Suicide Dolls, opened the show. The Dolls are a three-piece comprised of guitar, bass, and drums, with guitarist Brian Albano and bassist Michelle Montavon sharing vocal duties. Albano’s guitar style employs a lot of reverb and plenty of fuzz, with him playing not only some crazy riffs and leads, but also employing slide-guitar techniques to create a wall of noise. Montavon’s chunky bass lines take center-stage in most songs by the Dolls, driving the songs forward with their thunder. Holding everything together is drummer Matt Covey (also of Shai Hulud), who employs some soft mallet techniques in his drum arsenal, and keeps the band moving forward from song to song. With virtually no breaks between songs, the Dolls ripped through an almost half-hour set. I sensed a strong vibe of ‘80s dark wave and ‘90s noise rock in their songs, especially in Albano’s guitar sound, and it gave the Dolls one of the more interesting sounds I’ve heard in awhile.

After The Suicide Dolls, Living Laser took the stage, and the crowd packed in for their set. I’d heard some hype about Living Laser, so prior to the show I went online to check out some tracks and enjoyed what I’d heard. Living Laser is a hardcore punk band from Poughkeepsie, NY who has been together for about three years. According to their singer who I spoke with briefly after their set, they started out as a fun side project that turned more serious when their other bands called it quits.

Without much ado, Living Laser quickly began ripping through songs and the crowd went nuts for them. Their songs featured super-catchy riffs including fast, thrashy parts and breakdowns that made everyone in the room want to dance. Added to this mix were vocals which are sung-shouted and not screamed; the result was a band that I’m now very stoked on. Look for a review of their cassette Ragged Glory in a future issue. On stage, Living Laser’s singer gives the band all their stage presence. He leaps through the air and generally goes crazy while simultaneously screaming his lungs out. Overall, I was impressed by Living Laser and can’t wait to check out their new 7” that will be coming out on Trip Machine in the near future.

After a short break at the end of Living Laser’s set, it was finally time for Ceremony. Filling in on drums for the band on this tour was Val from Punch and Loma Prieta, who played amazingly, despite having problems with one of his feet requiring wearing a brace. They opened with “Hysteria,” the single from their latest album Zoo, and everyone went nuts. The last time I saw Ceremony was when they opened for Refused at Terminal 5 in New York. Their reception in Hamden, CT was worlds apart from the crossed arms and barely nodding heads they received from the audience at that show. There was not a single person standing idly here, as the band tore through a setlist of seventeen songs from throughout their discography. Crowd favorites included “Open Head,” and “Sick” from the Rohnert Park LP, along with “Citizen,” and “World Blue” from Zoo, among many others.

It might just be me, but it sounds like Ceremony has reinterpreted many of their old favorites when they play them live, giving them the same fuzzed-out vibe as their Zoo tracks. This might simply be the use of different pedal effects than what they’ve employed on previous records, but in any case, it’s a sound that I’m very into.

As the set went on, the crowd began to take over the stage, overwhelming singer Ross, and the rest of the band. One guy had the clever idea to stage dive off the side of the stage, instead of off the front of the stage, into myself and a group of people. In the process, he stepped all over guitarist Anthony Anzaldo’s pedal board set up, unplugging and mangling it beyond hope of quick repair. Anzaldo looked ready to smash the dude over the head with his guitar, but instead plugged directly into his amp and continued to play. His pedal setup was not the only piece of equipment to get thrashed around during the band’s set. The venue’s floor monitors were also knocked about by the enthusiastic crowd.

Towards the end of Ceremony’s set, water began suddenly pouring from the ceiling and ceiling tiles soggy with water disintegrated on the crowd below. Staff attempted to put some buckets down to catch the dripping water, but they lasted until the band resumed playing. Once the next song started, the buckets were quickly scattered by dance floor chaos. The band concluded their set with a mix of favorites including “Repeating the Circle,” “The Dold - Razorcake


As far as they were concerned, Michelle Montavon and Brian Albano weren't aware of any sort of New London music scene when they set out, in the mid '90s, to start a noise rock band. Sure, there were the Reducers - nationally known rock royalty - and there was the iconic live venue, the El 'n' Gee Club, where the typical bill seemed to involve bands from somewhere else who actually rode around in tour buses.

As such, the pair, who are married and have been dating since their days at New London High School, resolutely hit the road. Under a succession of names and with a succession of drummers, they tried such accessible musical pastures like Chicago and then Providence.

When the word started filtering out to them that, suddenly, there WAS a lot happening in New London, they scampered back to the Whaling City - and then had to spend a few years figuring out how to fit in.

"It was weird because we had to break into our own hometown," Montavon says. "We were, like, 'Where were you guys all our lives? If we'd known you were here, we'd have never left!'"

The Dolls perform tonight as part of the Hygienic Art Festival's Rock Fix in the Crocker House Ballroom. Also playing are Herff Jones, the Hempsteadys, the 'Mericans, Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent, Recur Occurrence and the Can Kickers.

"When we got back to town," Albano says, "we were like cousins at the side of the family picnic. No one's sitting with us. But we started hanging around and seeing and learning about all these great bands. And we thought, hey, we've fit in everywhere we've gone. We can easily absorb a scene and we'll just fill in the blanks."

In 2002, they changed their name to the Suicide Dolls, shifted direction from the expansive noise rock style, and began writing songs in an evolving and concise format that combined punk, pop and rock elements.

"It took us a while," Albano says. "New London's a weird scene: a lot pour in, but it filters down to who's trying to do something current and relevant. It became a game of numbers where we learned the history. And, by sticking at it, we got filtered in ourselves."

The process of learning about the New London scene, in other words, helped the Suicide Dolls develop their own persona - and of course they ultimately became integral members.

And, in 2006, when Covey came onboard, all the elements and chemistry were in place. An East Lyme native, he brought extensive experience and virtuosity ranging from the precision-ska of locals the Hempsteadys to international tours with Metal Blade recording artists Shai Hulud.

Now, all three musicians are sitting in a rehearsal space in downtown New London, talking about the musical circus rides that comprise their experiences. The three are thoughtfully energetic in conversation, often stepping on each other's sentences in the fashion of folks who can't get their thoughts out quickly enough - and who crack each other up every time it happens.

There is plenty of reason to be excited. After their style and songbook organically coalesced over the years and gigs, they've finally dropped their debut album. "Prayers in the Parking Lot" premiered in early December and was officially released in January. Co-produced by the band with Northampton studio legend Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., the Hold Steady, Sonic Youth), the CD is a molten comet - beautifully (and loudly) capturing the aggressive layers of the band's sound.

"Well, the music is sort of hard to describe," Albano says. "The rockers find us punk. The punkers find us rockers. The noisers think we're pop - and the pop think we're noisers."

Montavon and Covey digest their bandmate's sonic analysis, then simultaneously offer this comment: "'Noisers'?!"

Perhaps Albano is inventing a hip new term for a rock style, but, still, his is a fairly apt description of the songs and live energy presented by the Suicide Dolls. There is a volume and aggression to the band that suggests Motorhead by wa - The New London Day


The Suicide Dolls draw from some heavy influences, as the sounds of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. show up in full force on their latest album, Prayers in Parking Lots. The Connecticut trio headed to the famous Q Division Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts, to record with producer Justin Pizzoferrato, who has worked with the aforementioned bands, as well as with Thurston Moore and J. Mascis for solo material.

Pizzoferrato nails the sound the band is obviously going for, as it conjures the unmistakable influence of their favorite bands. The music has that driving force of 'You’re Living All Over Me' and the experimental edge of 'Daydream Nation'. The only problem is that The Suicide Dolls aren’t those bands. The group does a pretty convincing imitation, but bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth are not easily replicated. - Verbicide Magazine


Today’s song, Smash, comes courtesy of The Suicide Dolls, from their excellent new record, Prayers in Parking Lots. The Suicide Dolls are based out of New London, CT.

Reading an interview with Michelle (bass), it sounds like the record was tracked and mixed in 4 days. It’s an astoundingly polished collection of songs, a slab of no-holds-barred alternative rock, and the sound of a band that has honed its playing and performance on the live circuit. Younger bands should appreciate this lesson: great sounds come from playing shows – a LOT of shows.

With debut studio records, bands often fall prey to “can’t we just add another track?” syndrome and, undoubtedly Brian (guitars, vox) has added multiple guitars to the mix here – particularly in the breakdown at the 4-minute mark – but it’s to the credit of the band, and their production team, that they didn’t end up over-cooking this dish. It’s tight. Focused. Precisely chaotic.

Lyrically, little snippets come through – our narrator is heading for an apocalypse, facing unseen forces, possibly even his own interior demons, reaching the end of his capacity to hold back. Finding comfort in the darkness and those who “flock during the night-time”. It’s gloriously unspecific stuff, yet somehow compelling.

Unfortunately, though the band is on Reverbnation, this track isn’t up for streaming, so I can’t embed the widget here – but you can hear it (and more importantly BUY IT) at The Suicide Dolls Bandcamp page.

For those who have been missing straight up rock music, Prayers in Parking Lots has it in spades and should be on your playlist right now.

Keep making and listening to music – you make the world a little better every time you do. - The blog @ MySetlist.co


(*Note--Suicide Dolls Review AFTER the Fixx is review)

If one stepped outside and looked up, they would have been a witness to a blood drenched atmosphere coated by the aftermath of Cy Curnin’s ardent vocals, as The Fixx opened up with their classical “Red Skies.” The legendary British band that had once occupied the airwaves on MTV during the early 80’s was now performing those same hits that had brought them critical acclaim, at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. Cy Curnin’s analogy of the band’s longevity of “a fine wine that has aged well in the bottle,” is perfectly accurate, and as much as it is an elegant depiction, his humorous reason for the band’s formation and permanence drew laughter from the packed venue as he explained, “We formed this band so we wouldn’t have to hear our parents having sex, and they’re still healthy. So we’re still in the band.”

With a batch of new material, The Fixx proves that they have not lost a step, and in fact, display an element that cannot be taught—a provocative aura, firmly clutching the audience’s attention. Dan K. Brown fluently played his bass guitar, smoothly reserved and composed as Adam Woods maintained the rhythm on the drums. James West-Orum’s silky display on guitar complimented the tangled web of instrumentation by the band in a phenomenal manner. The emphasis on keyboards coming from Rupert Greenall rounded out the alluring signature sound that The Fixx is known for. “This is how you start a fire,” said Curnin as the band proceeded to play the title-track to their upcoming album, “Beautiful Friction.” The song was mellow with traces of sensuality and as Curnin jestingly mentioned, the original mix of the song was four hours long. The Fixx extended their performance about 30 minutes longer than expected. Each member of the band stood side by side, drenched in sweat as they looked out into the audience, humbly embracing the adoration before they finally left stage after a remarkable performance.

Scorching guitars, a subtle bass line and some slow, hard hitting drums was our introduction into the Suicide Dolls. The tempo continuously sped up until vocalist/bassist, Michelle Suicide’s voice leaked out of the speakers, amongst the band’s chaotic music. Her voice added a subtle melody to the band’s aggressive sound, combined with the hypnotic state she falls into when strumming the strings of her bass guitar, she rocks hard. Their focus and attention to detail is apparent as they were able to deliver an intense performance, carefully executing with surgical precision. Vocalist/guitarist, Brian Suicide’s howling voice meshes well with the band’s hard and noisy method of attack. Each member of the band feeds off one another, but without the impassioned barrage that the drums receive at the hands of Matt Covey, the Suicide Dolls would be missing an important cog. The energy that was distributed by the Suicide Dolls appropriately set the stage for The Fixx.

The night began with the funky grooves of Livin. The guitar strings are playfully intertwined with an uplifting spirit, backed by guitarist, David Stann’s exuberance. Livin performed an array of hip and boisterous songs, including “Living in Space” and “Text Message.” Lead singer and guitarist, Teddy Ames has a smooth voice which he delivered effortlessly throughout the opening set. After Livin finished, you could hear whispers of how much people enjoyed the music and their performance. Livin prides themselves in creating “soulful, funky and new music with a groove just for you,” and that is exactly what they delivered during this warm night in June.

- The Knit Brooklyn


We tuned into Boston Accents this past Sunday night (like we always do #WEAREWFNX), mostly to hear host Michael Marotta’s thoughts on the craziness that went on during the week, and to find out if it was to be the final show. Luckily it won’t be the last, but in the freeform, who gives a shit limbo that the station is in right now, convention went out the window. One song per band for the show should be standard? Nah. Two? How about RIBS’ entire new EP? Sure. The band was in the studio, White Russians were being consumed, and Michael played the thing from start to finish because he knows he’s on borrowed time and wanted the world to hear it. Titled Russian Blood, the EP is seven melodic anthems that stay true to the bands form, but also show maturation. Like their earlier releases, this one is a haunting and thunderous tribute to the rock gods; heavy and textured, but somehow still spry enough to keep us guessing. It’s been a while since we’ve seen these guys play, so we’re excited to see them at TT’s in Cambridge tomorrow night.

Garage psych three piece Suicide Dolls, up from Connecticut, are similar to RIBS in that they’re heavy as hell, but that’s not all they’ve got going for them. They might start off heavy and almost lumbering, but in an instant turn the song into a frenetic assault, raining down blows you didn’t even see coming. Like a bear; like a big, rock and roll bear that’s got the scent of blood. Herra Terra add an electronic element into the mix, but don’t think them any less powerful than the others. All of their bleeps and bloops just add to the already impressive barrage that the band is capable of. When the apocalypse eventually happens, they’ll be part of the soundtrack. Opening and closing the night will be DJ sets by Yoga Girls, a pair of electronic dance mavens who bring a touch of the loud and angry to their sets. - Boston Band Crush


The Suicide Dolls have just announced that they are to appear on a tribute album covering the songs from the movie Repo Man a compilation of songs that celebrates the southern California punk movement of the 70's and 80's.

The Suicide Dolls, who won best new act of 2011 at The New England Music Awards, will appear on the album alongside artists such as Black Francis, Mike Watt, Amanda Palmer, Matthew Sweet, and many others. For more information click here. The album has a projected release date of September 18 later this year.

The Suicide Dolls will be playing at Radio in Somerville MA on Friday, April 13 with Await Rescue, Before Disorder, and Ghost Box Orchestra.

--Chrissy Prisco - The Deli - New England


1. How would you describe your sound/the music you’re making in 10 words or less?
Noisy, melodic rock that's a little rough around the edges

2. Of all my songs, the one that...
A. people tell me they like the most is:"Smash" and "Shoo"
B. is my favorite to perform is: Currently? "Pretty Lie" and "Smash"
C. holds the most meaning for me is: "Birthday" and "Hit Me"

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don't sit and wait around for anyone to give you what you’re looking for... make your own opportunities, even if you have to make them appear out of thin air.

4. What song or album has been stuck on repeat in your life lately?
Been rockin' Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head and Hello Nasty around the clock. The way too soon passing of Adam Yauch (MCA) was a terrible reminder to appreciate the groundbreaking artists we still have who gave us so much inspiration.

5. If you could collaborate with any New London County musician/singer/group/artist who would it be?
I'd love to play straight up noise-guitar in Bedroom Rehab Corporation! I would add a very ambient, high end to their menacing low-end drone and chug.

6. What do you do when you’re not making music?
Go to other bands' shows, take long drives, watch TV way more than I should, and become more and more disenchanted American politics.

7. What do you think has been your biggest success in the last year?
Our biggest accomplishment was FINALLY putting out our album, because it led to some really cool stuff... Without it, we would have never won "Best New Artist" at the 2011 New England Music Awards. We would not have been chosen to be a part of American Laundromat Records tribute album for the movie ‘Repo Man’. We're the only un-signed band on the compilation, and we will be featured alongside artists like Frank Black of The Pixies, Mike Watt (formerly of Minutemen, currently with Iggy Pop and the Stooges), Matthew Sweet, Weekend and Amanda Palmer. We're absolutely psyched, but without the release of Prayers In Parking Lots, none of it would have happened.

8. How did you feel the moment you found out you were up for a Whalie?
We've been nominated every year so far, but this year it was for the BIG ONE--Album of the Year. The very fact that we finally HAVE an album, and that it's been warmly received by our hometown is AWESOME. Believe it or not, there is a LOT of NL in the songs themselves... several songs reference the streets we grew up on, so it was a pretty cool feeling. We know there's some stiff competition, there's lots of talent in this city and we're just proud to be a part of it in general!

9. If you could walk down the ‘red’ carpet with anyone/thing, who/what would it be?
I wish I could bring my little kitty Lucie everywhere I went! I would dress her in a rhinestone collar, of course.

10. How are you going to celebrate post-Whalies
Whether we win or not, the Suicide Dolls know how to party... we're loud, we're fun, and we'll see you there, NL!! - WailingCity.com


This rock trio, on the verge of garage and experimental pop with so many apparent influences across the genre-board are coming at us with an album that is very welcomed in the current rock scene of New England. Unlike many rock albums you may come across, this album is not just a compiling of various tracks strewn about an album, but a well put together compilation that amounts to a single cohesive track called "Prayers In Parking Lots". If one thing were lacking in the general rock genre these days, it is the uniqueness and wholly original sound that can be found in an album like this one.

The song structure, placement of tracks, unique and varied usage of audio clips and shear way that lyrics and lyrical stylings are portrayed across the album presents a style that I can only compare to the progressive rock concept albums you hear from bands like Baroness, Mastodon, Horse the Band and Tool. I'm not saying that they fall in the same category of genre -although hints of progressive rock are all but apparent- or that it is actually a concept but the way the album is portrayed really gives me the feeling of drive and build up which progressive albums are fluent in these days. While I say this, I do believe that the album is definitely Rock 'N' Roll through and through.

Opening up the album with "Eye", a song full of heavy rock guitar rhythms, solid and powerful drumming and complimenting baselines really shows you the strong direction the album is heading. The buildup in tunes like "Smash" really pull the listener in to the wild ride that is "Prayers in Parking Lots". It is anthemic songs like this that really peak my ear drums in rock tunes. The buildup culminates into a severely powerful set of riffs and bass pounding rhythms making "Smash" something that definitely needs to be heard to appreciate.

The epic seven and a half minute tune "Smash" can be heard right here at Boston Bloghead via Soundcloud or you can go check it and the whole album out over at The Suicide Dolls Bandcamp - Boston Bloghead


The Whalie Awards, though extremely tongue-in-cheek from an outside standpoint, have become more than just a night where musicians and fans get together, walk down a red carpet, drink (heavily) and enjoy an event that is unique to New London. They have become a gauge of sorts - a telling look at what our area's music scene has accomplished and where it's going for the next year.

Just look at the number of nominees throughout the first three years. In 2010, there were roughly 65 nominees. There were about 75-80 nominees in 2011, and this year, we blew that away, with over 100 nominated bands and artists!

Every corner of the music scene is represented. Hip hop makes a dominant showing, with so many nominees this year, the categories had to be split into the Grammy-style "Best Hip Hop" and "Best Urban Alternative" - a funny term that insinuates the edgier, less-traditional side of hip hop. The term "Americana" is nearly phased out this year, as there are so many outstanding artists that we had to pigeonhole them into two categories - "Best Blues / Country Rock" and "Best Folk / Bluegrass." These types of categories don't necessarily reflect the variety that some bands bring to the table, but as our scene grows bigger each year, we'll find that categorizing will become easier (more specific) and somehow tedious (more categories to fill) at the same time.

The Whalies are also a great barometer of an individual artist or band's accomplishments throughout the past year. Look at the top nominees for instance. New London-bred rappers Camacho & Poe Swayzie have garnered 9 nominations a piece - the most nominations ever in the short history of the awards. Together, they are The Fly Ones, who are up for Album of the Year and Hiphop Album of the Year. Individually, they have each made hit songs and collectively represent 3 of the best music videos this year, all of them DIY - done through their self-started production team, Flawless Visuals. The work they have put into their music and marketing is second to none and now they have branched out, offering to make upscale videos for local artists.

Speaking of workhorses, the second highest nominated act this year is Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent. Daphne has spent tireless hours practicing, gigging, networking and even tweeting. She has shown an intense dedication to this project and shows no signs of stopping, getting nods for Album of the Year from CT.com and Motif Magazine. Daphne even employed the talents of Skobie Won and Erik Lamb (also up for 7 awards this year!) to put a spin on her track "Nostradamus," a remix that is up for the brand new Best Collaboration category.

One of the most telling truths of this year's Whalie Awards though, are the incredible rock records that came out of New London in the last 12 months. Two bands hiked it out-of-state to work with famous producers and the product of each was remarkable. Ferocious Fucking Teeth drove out to Chicago to record with Steve Albini (yes, THAT Steve Albini, the one that recorded Nirvana!). The result is FFT's controlled chaos wrapped up in a self-titled, beautifully-packaged 12" record. It's a brilliant piece of work that is already grabbing this band national press on its debut outing.

Another astounding record that was released this year may also double as the centerpiece of the most interesting story at the Whalie Awards. After 10 years of being a band, The Suicide Dolls finally released a proper full-length, and it was epic. Recorded by Justin Pizzoferrato (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) in Boston at the studio where the Pixies and Dropkick Murphys have recorded, Prayers In Parking Lots is the product of the band's 10-year journey to find a signature sound, a fan base and a music scene to call home. They come to the Whalies this year with 5 nominations, including Album, Rock Album and Song of the Year for "Smash."

The single most noticeable difference between last year's Whalies and this year's is qualit - WailingCity.com


Back in December, we tested the structural integrity of Radio with a set by Black Thai. The club still stands, and it will be put to the test again tomorrow night when The Suicide Dolls take the stage. With a sound heavier than the entire collection of Suicide Girls en masse, the Suicide Dolls will be plugging in and turning up tomorrow night. It’s very nice of them to allow us all to take tonight off to watch the Bruins. Yes, it’s that time of year again, Editors. So let’s rock.

The appropriately-named “Smash” establishes the opportunity for music critics to address it as appropriately named almost immediately. The song’s overture ignited with the sounds of thumping, almost tribal drums and a bass that moves like a power forward dribbling a basketball, except the basketball is on fire and made out of lead.

The inertia inherent in this track makes it a call to action, as resolute guitars pick out their shotgun melodies over the forceful directives of the vocal. There is power contained within this mix, but there is also organization.

The Suicide Dolls’ ability to not just hit you over the head but spice up the attack with a variety if weapons is what ultimately brings this song home. The fact that this is a hard rock track with established sections that each move the track along gives it a delicious element of dimension that can sometimes assumed to be remiss when you hear the sounds of saturated guitars and shouty vocals. “Smash” alternately builds tension and sets it to burn. It’s like a set of explosions, all strung together with a complex system of fuses. - Boston Band Crush


Since 2005 guitarist Brian Albano and bassist Michelle Montavon have been “kicking it,” and making a statement about the music they make. Along with drummer Matt Covey (since 2006) The Suicide Dolls – a power trio from New London, CT – has been making waves through their long time collaboration and mission to stake their claim.? After several years of building a loyal fan base, and creating their own identity, they have a good understanding of the competitive edge between bands in their realm and even share a perspective that many others seem to miss. Albano explains, “We have a lot of good scenes within the region where we perform – places like New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts -there are a lot of other great bands that hail from our area. We could get together and become something; New England-based bands could [form] a unity between venues and other bands, and we could be a strong force.”

Continuing forward on their mission, The Suicide Dolls have finally broken, what is to them, new ground. After the years of the much-enjoyed performance aspect of their act, they took to the studio and began working on their new full-length, Prayers in Parking Lots (recording at Q-Division in Somerville, MA), which was co-produced with Justin Pizzoferrato. The Suicide Dolls recognize and understand the benefits of working with a producer, “We needed an expert to help us. We have different styles; you can’t really label it. We’ve been classified as being anything from rock to punk to noise. We needed someone that could help us get all these different sounds and capture the mix of our influences, and working with Justin, and getting down to the real recording process, was beneficial to us,” Albano says.

Montavon adds, “It was a real labor or love; we have typically done things backwards, emphasizing the live show, never really focusing on the recording aspect. This was the first time we went to a studio and did some real recording. We worked on both older and newer songs.

Up to this point we only had some home recordings. Nothing was good enough to represent us and release; we finally were able to do it for real.”

The Suicide Dolls have learned much about the toils that life in a rock band can bring, but they are determined to keep doing it for as long as they love what they do – making music. - Performer Magazine


This was just a small blurb that Iman Lababedi (former rock critic with Creem Magazine, founder of Rock NYC Live and Recorded) posted to help us with our nomination. The words he used to describe us were just too awesome not to include in our press kit:

"Rock NYC faves the Suicide Dolls, the best purveyors of noise abattoir out there, are up for Best new New England Band after six years!

VOTE

VOTE OFTEN!!

VOTE TWICE!!!

And not just because they are featured in rock nyc's perpetually in post-production commercial, or even because Helen thinks Michelle Montavon is the nicest person, but because they fucking rock like Gods.

...Do your duty to the country that raised you and vote vote vote. I mean it. Don't make me come after you. - Rock NYC Live and Recorded


A lot of bands work on their live performance before recording an album, but few are as deliberate about it as the Suicide Dolls.

The New London trio last month released “Prayers in Parking Lots,” its full-length debut — just in time for the group’s 10th anniversary this year.

“We’ve been chipping away for a long time, and I think we’re at a point now where we’ve never sounded this good,” bassist and singer Michelle Montavon says over coffee at Mohegan Sun.

Ten years doesn’t fully tell the story. Montavon and guitarist and singer Brian James Albano, both 38 and a couple since they were 15, started playing music together in 1994. They played in a succession of improvisational noise bands on the East Coast and in the Midwest, before a longing for musical structure prompted the pair to overhaul their approach.

“In the ’90s, we wanted to play this noise that when you listened to it, it was hard for your mind to conceptualize and focus on what was going on,” Albano says. “But then I wanted catchy, because I love catchy songs, too.”

Forming the Suicide Dolls in 2002 marked the start of their effort to fuse noise with structure in a way that acknowledged their influences, including the Jesus Lizard, Dinosaur Jr. and the Pixies, without sounding too much like any of them.

Although the group had made a handful of rough demo recordings over the years — good for posting online and getting gigs, the band says — and released an EP, Albano, Montavon and a rotation of drummers spent more time on stage than in a studio, honing their sound by performing show after show. In 2010, with seminal drummer Matt Covey, 30, back in the band after a two-year absence, the musicians started feeling like they were finally ready for the next step.

“We were no longer putting on the I’m-in-a-band hat and playing the role of it,” Albano says. “Around 2010 it became genuine. We became more like ourselves onstage, and our life off-stage became not our life anymore. We’ve really become genuinely our sound.”

With nearly a decade’s worth of music to document, the Suicide Dolls booked themselves into Q Division Studios near Boston and spent just four days recording the 12 songs on “Prayers in Parking Lots.” It’s a confident album with a big, bristling sound: Montavon’s basslines charge along in lockstep with Covey’s pounding drums, while Albano delivers tough guitar riffs that seethe with tension.

The lyrics, though oblique enough for listeners to impart their own meanings, often address subjects drawn from the musicians’ lives, and New London itself is a recurring character, by turns charming and seedy.

“It’s weird how the location where we grew up actually seriously filters into the music,” Montavon says. “It’s a weird place. I call it the vortex. I’ve lived in a lot of different places. Providence, Chicago, Woodstock, NY; we kind of went all over in the ’90s. Apart from the fact that we have family here, there’s just something about New London.”

Although the album represents only some of the material the band has written, the musicians say it’s representative of their evolution.

“It’s got some of the first songs we wrote in 2002,” Montavon says. “It’s really where we were, where we are and where we’re headed.”

For now, they’re headed back to the road. The band already plays frequently in New York, and has lately made inroads in the insular Boston scene. With a powerful new album in hand, the Suicide Dolls hope they can find a label to sign with and get some help with the business end of making music.

“A lot of bands, it’s become a sprint,” Albano says. “We’ve been on a marathon, we’ve been living this music. Now, as we’re starting to really get some traction, we’re planning on smashing our way in.” - Harford Courant


2011 Winners

Band of the Year
Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
Album of the Year

Ragtop Angel / Adam Ezra Group

Male Performer of the Year
Chris Trapper

Female Performer of the Year
Liz Longley

Songwriter of the Year
Martin Sexton

Song of the Year
Takin' Off / Adam Ezra Group

Best New Act of the Year
The Suicide Dolls

Live Act of the Year
Prospect Hill

Producer of the Year
Aaron Johnson

Indie/Rock/Pop Act of the Year
Ryan Montbleau Band

Folk/Americana/Roots Act of the Year
Hot Day at the Zoo

Blues/R&B/Soul Act of the Year
Roomful of Blues

Jazz Act of the Year
Miss Tess

Country Act of the Year
Kiley Evans

New Age/Techno/Hip-Hop Act of the Year
D-Tension
- New Englnad Music Awards


A Journey Through Night

The first sound you hear is a short sample of a “numbers station,” which are mysterious shortwave radio stations that are believed to be secretively operated by government agencies to communicate with spies out in the field. They have been around for several decades, all over the world, but never officially confirmed. The voice we hear intones “achtung” which indicates that it is German in origin. Perhaps this is a coded tribute to U2, whose early albums are an inspiration to this band? Even if it’s not, it’s a cool touch, and they use samples from those numbers stations throughout the album. From that brief introduction we go into the main portion of the opening song, “Eye,” which features a cool Pixies-like guitar riff. Lead guitarist and singer Brian Albano commanding that “I’m ready, I’m willing, I’m able – I’m ready to make the time” during the chorus. This might be the best song, out of many contenders, on what is The Suicide Dolls’ recently released debut album, Prayers in Parking Lots – an album that is extremely strong and accomplished.

There are many Pixies-ish songs on this album, but traces of Sonic Youth can also be heard, and not just in the fact that, like Sonic Youth, The Suicide Dolls (great band name, by the way) are led by a singing couple – Albano and bassist/singer Michelle Montavon (they take turns singing lead) – who have been together since they were teenagers and have been playing in bands for many years but only now, finally, have released an album. By the recorded results, I say better late than never.

Other influences heard throughout the album are The Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division and a bit of early Siouxsie and the Banshees. They don’t just ape these influences though – they take them and create memorable songs out of them.

Michelle sounds a little bit like a subdued Courtney Love (now there’s a contradiction in terms) on “Shoo,” leading the band through a droning, yet intense number. Drummer Matt Covey and Michelle lock into an awesomely grinding groove, while Albano plays some great lead over the top. Impressive stuff.

It’s hard to pick out individual songs due to the fact that they are all equally strong, intense and exciting – with dark overtones. They make angst-fueled music that doesn’t sound contrived and boring like a lot of what passes for alternative music these days.

Throughout the album they bring back the best of late-80s/early-90s alternative rock, with a late-70s garage punk attack in certain spots. They also hint at some of the darker, trippier elements of neo-psychedelic shoegazing bands like My Bloody Valentine or early Boo Radleys – though in a very subtle way. I like how they are able to take well-worn sounds and make them new again. If Prayers had come out in the late 80s it definitely could have exploded all over college radio the way The Pixies and Sonic Youth did at the time.

“Want” is another highlight, as well as “Drive” (this could have been as huge as any Breeders or Hole song in the 90s), with Covey bashing his drums in spectacular fashion, and the longer piece “Smash,” with a distorted-sounding Albano invoking Black Francis. He sings “I’ll do what I want – I’ll say what I want.” It then goes into some of Sonic Youth’s droning, experimental territory before returning to the main riff. The song “Elizabeth” has a great slowed-down trippy element to it, with a slight Velvet Underground feel mixed with early Public Image Ltd.

“Candy” is a nice mixture of late-period Black Flag (Albano sounding like a smoother and less intense Henry Rollins) with a sugar-pop rush to the backing vocals. “Brand New and Close By” reveals just how much of a Black Sabbath influence there was in bands like Nirvana, yet this really doesn’t sound like either band. Michelle’s voice sounds great on this song. The noisy, grinding “Deep Red” closes out the affair with both singers exchanging vocals to excellent effect and some of Albano’s most intense guitar playing of the album. It makes for a great ending.

I was lucky enough to have discovered this band due to the fact that my father has been a lifelong friend of Montavon’s father, who gave me the album. Let’s hope everyone out there has their own luck in discovering this band, who are based out of New London, CT and have been playing together since 2002. They have just made a very impressive first album that is much too good to go unnoticed. Let’s hope this is only the beginning.

Jay Mucci
- The Beat Patrol


Well then, as if there were any doubt who deserved to win the prestigious New England Music Awards!

Incredible congratulations to this amazing Connecticut band. As Iman so wonderfully stated "rock nyc faves the Suicide Dolls, the best purveyors of noise abattoir out there, are up for Best New New England Band" and with the help of our readers and anyone else with good taste in music The Dolls have won!

We are so proud to have had the honor of supporting and promoting this band. If there is one thing that makes our work worth it it's getting bands the attention they deserve. So thank you readers for fulfilling our request!

Now get out there and support more local heroes! - Rock NYC Live and Recorded


Connecticut rock and roll machine - Boston Accents


THE SUICIDE DOLLS “Drive” – Connecticut's devilish rock and roll veterans back with a new, driving concept record last month, and this was the track that jumped out at me. - Boston Accents


"This Connecticut-based trio draws on influences from bands like Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and The Pixies. Now, you might think a lot of bands cite those same influences, and you're correct. However, the Suicide Dolls turn their influences into some major inspiration. With their searing lyrics and heavy hooks, this band is running full steam ahead, never stopping to look back." - New England Deli


How did The Suicide Dolls start?

Michelle: Brian and I have been playing music together since the mid 90s. We turned into a droney/chuggy noise band with no vocals while living in Providence, RI in the later 90s. You couldn't really get shows with that kind of stuff in bars, and in 2002/2003 we decided to add a more 'regular' song structure to the weird jams we were playing. What we got with our new formula were simpler, poppy-yet-noisy songs that are a little rough around the edges.

Where did the band name come from?

Michelle: A few people have actually taken some issue with our name, but it's really just a way to describe our take on society's self-destructive nature. Everyone plays with their own self-destruction in one way or another. Drinking, smoking, obsessing... almost everyone has a vice these days, so really, we're ALL Suicide Dolls. The preist, policeman, your dad, and you, too.

What are your biggest musical influences?

Michelle and Brian: We're kind of unique in the way that we have so many of the same influences. We've known eachother for such a long time that we pull from the same spectrum: 70s & 80s Punk, No Wave, New Wave & Pop. 80s Alt, Post-Punk, Art-Rock and Pop. 90s Noise Rock, Indie Rock, Garage Rock, and Stoner Rock. Out of all the bands we love, our most direct influences are probably: Sonic Youth, the Jesus Lizard, Joy Division, the Smiths, Pixies, Shellac, Beatles, the Cure, Cows, Doors, Jesus and Mary Chain, DKs, Unwound, Glenn Branca, early U2, Velvet Underground, Babes in Toyland, Gang of Four, Sex Pistols, QOTSA, Dinosaur Jr, Fugazi, the Stooges, Nirvana, Lydia Lunch, the Modern Lovers, My Bloody Valentine, David Bowie, Elvis Costello... this road can take you to the Bee Gees and beyond if you let it...

Matt: I find that individual records have a bigger influence on me than specific artists' bodies of work... but there's just too many records and artists and I always forget some big ones. Here's a few: Igor Stravinsky, Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Fugazi, James Brown, J Robbins, Medeski Martin and Wood, Snapcase, Antibalas, Bane, John Scofield, Dave Holland Quintet, Q And Not U, Wu-Tang, The Roots, Queens of The Stone Age, Blood Brothers, Glassjaw, Wayne Krantz, Cee-Lo Green, Wu-Tang, Brazilian Girls, Budos Band, KRS-One, Aesop Rock, Deftones, Tom Waits, The Meters, Bad Brains, Rage Against The Machine, The Slackers, Herbie Hancock, Botch, The Aggrolites, The Clash, Converge, The Mars Volta/At The Drive-In, . I'm also lucky enough to have been playing for one of my favorite bands for the last 3 years, Shai Hulud.

What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

Michelle: For the last year or so, I've been listening to mostly Pandora. Some of my favorite channels are: Unwound, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Liars, Shellac, Pussy Galore, The Fall, Hot Snakes, the Replacements, Big Black, Wire, Cows, and quite possibly the shining diamond of them all, Christopher Cross. I like to pretend that this is what's popular on the airwaves.

Brian: Sonic Youth, Pixies, Joy Division, Iggy Pop, and anyone who steals from them, or anyone they stole from. We're currently listening to alot of music. Alright fine, I post alot of videos from The Smiths and Magazine.

Matt: I'm on a BIG Rocket From The Crypt & Hot Snakes kick right now. Also Budos Band, The Flatliners, Fake Babies, Endwell, Stepkids, Sonic Boom Six, Beastie Boys, Stuck Lucky, All Teeth, The Carrier, Run With The Hunted, Aggrolites, Battles, Bill Withers, Descendents, Propagandhi, Pharoahe Monch, Robert Glasper, Sleigh Bells, Fela Kuti, Counterparts, Passion Pit

What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

Michelle: I saw the Monkees in 1986 or 1987, but the first rock concert i saw was the INXS CALLING ALL NATIONS Tour in the summer of 1988 at the Hartford Civic Center. I was 14... Brian was actually at the same show--it was also HIS first rock concert--but we didn't know eachother yet. The first record i actually bought was Michael Jackson's Thriller... it ruled so damn hard when i took it home and played it!

Brian: INXS Calling All Nations Tour. It was in Hartford CT, but I lived in New London CT and my mom wouldn't let me go. Well I had a job under the table washing dishes (I was 14), and I bought a ticket anyway. On the day of the show, I got a train ticket to Hartford and had to run from the station to the show... I got there just in time as INXS was hitting the stage. It was awsome!! Unfortunatley for me, the train station was closed after the show and I had to call my mom and let her know I was on the other side of CT. She was PISSED!! I found out a few months later that Michelle was at that show. I didn't know her yet, but a few months later... "I was at that show too!!" The first album I bought was Seven and the Ragged Tiger by Duran Duran.

Matt: First show was The Misfits, Marky Ramone and The Intruders, and Maximum - The Deli - New England


All of the myriad acts in the New London music scene have their own agendas and priorities. There's no right or wrong to the respective missions, and the creation of music is, in any case, a good and fun thing.

But the Suicide Dolls, a steamroller trio whose fusion of punk, rock and pop styles is exceptionally creative and powerful, are following perhaps the most time-honored rock stereotype. That is, they quit their day jobs a few years back, have embraced the subsequent tough financial times cheerfully, and are absolutely committed to the idea of Going For It.

"As for a strategy on how to go up levels in this business, the only thing we have tried is working really hard at it," says bassist/vocalist Michelle Montavon, who founded the band with her husband, guitarist/vocalist Brian Albano, in 2002. "Up until now, we've really only concentrated on playing whenever and wherever we could - near and far - and that's why we quit our day jobs."

Indeed, after years of slogging it out on the road, the band - with drummer Matt Covey - has established itself as a live act with a strong following and a booking history from New York City to Chicago and Northampton to Boston.

But the band had no album to help push the momentum. Though they'd tried recording at various points, the results never met with the members' satisfaction - a situation that's been solved with the recent release of their first album, a driving, anthemic collection of tunes called "Prayers in Parking Lots." Co-produced and engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato (The Hold Steady, Dinosaur, Jr., Sonic Youth), the CD was stunningly recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville, Mass., and showcases the finest of the group's estimable catalog.

"All the road work was starting to pay off a teeny little bit, and now we have an actual CD to push," Montavon says. "We're not getting any younger so the time to give it a shot for REAL is now."

It seems like a long time ago that Montavon and Albano met and started dating - back when they were students at New London High School and couldn't find a music scene in which to nurture their ambitions. After years of sonic evolution, in towns like Chicago and Providence, they established a proper base back home and have moved forward.

"Moving up levels probably means different things to different people," Montavon says. She describes hours spent online daily, trying to broaden their touring circuit, finding new clubs and bands to link up with, and trying to figure out the advantages of label support.

"I'm sure some of the (logistical work) would be lessened with a label behind us, or at least helping out," she says. "We could concentrate more on the actual musical aspect of it, which would be nice." She laughs. "A slight pay increase would be nice, too." - The Day


Judging by their name and logo, I initally suspected The Suicide Dolls to be the latest in a long line of Warped Tour headbangers. What I heard when I listened to their debut album, the similarly mallgoth-evoking Prayers In Parking Lots, was instead the spirit of early '90s rock 'n' roll incarnate. Songs like "Pretty Lie" buck and heave with all the tenacity and grit of Sonic Youth in their prime, with grimy drums pounding away against sludgy, serrated guitars. Singer Michelle Montavon recreates the growling panache of Courtney Love minus the prom dresses, as her revenge-fantasy lyrics add an extra dose of bile to the song's monstrous, dirty presence. To be honest, the way I'm describing The Suicide Dolls' music is pretty similar to how I would talk about a Warped Tour band. They share a lot of the same characteristics as many metalcore groups - passionate, anger-fueled lyrics, a disregard for choruses, and lumbering, mastodon-like bass patterns. Whether that's something you embrace or something you can live with is purely up to you. - The Brown Noise


"It got weird., didn't it?" cracks guitarist Brian Albanon after bassist Michelle Montavon's bass goes does down for the count.

Very weird.

The Suicide Dolls don't do silence. In theory, they would hit the Pianos stage at 10pm and play atonal punk modulations nonstop with white hot noise segueing them from one end of the set to another: it is like the roar of an airplane and it is loud and relentless, almost ridiculously so for a three piece band. Mind bending, loud, more -post punk than punk, but still punk rock.

And it was knocking me for a loop when the it suddenly stops and i am kind of happy it did because it put the show so far into sharp relief. The Suicide Dolls mesmerize you with sound, the songs smash into each other and the mood is intense sensory overload and having it end suddenly, snapped me back into reality.Mind bending stuff. Suddenly, the Suicidie Dolls are joking around… just like you and me, and this aural soul merchants are sweet people. And then, just as suddenly they are running into brick walls again.

According to Brian, their newly recorded album "…is a collection of rock, punk, pop, and noise. In the middle of the song "Smash" we tear the song down and build it back like a Sonic Youth song. " On stage he does that mid song, dissipating the slightest of melody, heavily bashed by the bass and drummer Matt Covey anyway, and his guitar becomes steely feedback before switching directions again, and again, till you're feeling dizzy. It is a trick the noise purveyors pull off a couple of times and that disruption of sound is why they don't bother with formal song closings.

It isn't about performance as performance art, watch Michelle punch her bass in the back of its neck and the distorted rattle that comes out of it, it is truly an art installation.

The Connecticut are tight the way a jazz trio can be tight, the way Ornette Coleman can use harmolodics to be tight. They are in process of collapsing and rebuilding as a constant flux and is both exciting and, oddly, a little enervating to watch: the power of the sound seems to be coming from somewhere else, and, like ambient music, you can both drift and be stilled.

At the end Michelle says that's all and the band winds itself down.

Grade: A- - Rock NYC Live and Recorded


CD Review:

Having been raised on a steady diet of classic rock and having forged my own musical identity with the grunge movement of the 90’s I have come to miss rock and roll. I feel like I’ve been forgotten. There is just something missing in a lot of bands today. Perhaps it’s the fact that genres like “classic rock”, “grunge” and “alternative” don’t actually have anything to do with the sound of the music. They are all just flowery ways of saying ROCK. In a day and age where bands have pigeonholed themselves into super specific genre’s, bands like The Suicide Dolls are now having to cope with being called rock bands.

Prayer’s in Parking Lots revels in the fact that you can’t stick it in a box but never lowers it to being a “genre crossing” experiment. The punk rock clang bass gives the songs speed and movement, the drums range from a hardcore thump to psychedelic cymbal wash and guitars soar over the rhythm section covering the whole thing in a blanket of buzz saws and dope smoke. There is an unmistakable intensity and paranoia to the sound of this record. Prayer’s in Parking Lots is a wild animal that has been backed into a corner which has forced it to lash out. The guitars at the end of “Drive” go from a melodic single note melody to crushing chords on the verge of massive feedback that are only accented by the near constant crack of the snare drum. The noise soaked bridge section of “Smash” builds to out of control only to recoil perfectly back into the verse readying to strike at you again. The explosions of sound you hear on this album do not come from an artsy abstract place but from the hands of people that feel looked over and are trying to grab a hold of your attention at all costs, even if they have to be loud and mean.

Through all this the Suicide Dolls never alienate their audience. The chorus’s are prevalent and hooky which always gives the listener an anchor when they feel like the song might leave them stranded. There isn’t a single scream on the album either. While the singing sometimes goes more towards talking or reciting and isn’t the most melodic part of a song the vocals wouldn’t be considered offensive. These are things that keep Prayer’s in Parking Lots from being pigeonholed as a “noise rock” or “post hardcore” record. It may not be pop sensitive in style or subject but it is a pop sensitive structure that they’re building from.

The Suicide Dolls draw from a lot of bands that people now take for granted; The Pixies, Joy Division and Sonic Youth are the first 3 that come to mind. These bands that once saturated the hearts and minds of rockers everywhere are now going extinct. Prayers in Parking Lots will force you to remember what it was that drew you to these bands. Not because it sounds like them, but because it has the same quality you can’t quite put your finger on... because it’s something that can’t be summed up in a 2 word genre.

Interview:

The Suicide Dolls have been known for a long time as one of the hardest working bands in New London. They're always bringing new and interesting bands to town as well as traveling and touring the country... meeting new people and bands, speaking the gospel of our rock n’ roll prowess. Melding punk rock with psychedelic and shoe gaze, their blend of rock n’ roll has never been about fitting in but giving everyone something to connect with. Those of us in the New London scene have become very familiar with their on stage antics and blistering volumes, but what about a tangible product? There have been a few demos, singles and compilation tracks since they returned to the New London music scene in 2002, but we have yet to see a proper album and we here WailingCity.com, along with the rest of humanity, have been chomping at the bit. They're debut LP Prayers in Parking Lots is being released Friday, December 10th at the Oasis. This long awaited CD release extravaganza will feature Bostonite Jeremy Dubs (Rabbit Rabbit & Bunnies) with his new band Speak!, NJ rockers The Everymen and NL's own Wrist Like This. We asked the Suicide Dolls bassist and singer Michelle Montavon about music, life and what it was like to record their latest release.

Interview by Meghan Killimade

WC: Preparing this new record for release has been a long and rough process for you guys; tell us a little about the recording process and the things you've been through while making this record. How do you feel now that it's actually complete?!

MM: Now that it's done, we're incredibly happy with the way it came out! There are definitely little things on the album we would have liked to do differently if we had more time, but with only 4 days of actual recording, we think it came out great. The process itself was pretty amazing... it was the first time that we were in an environment where people treated us like we were doing something important. Mostly people think that bands play as a hobby, or that because there's not much - WailingCity.com


I have made it a personal mission to support my local heroes. I dont want a world full of cookie cutter music, I want the new and the old and something just different to feed upon.

Twitter can be a great resource. On Grammy night as I sat leg up snarfing soy ice cream from the carton I noticed The Suicide Dolls, a band I follow making some of the most snarky, sarcastic slamming statements of all time. Researching more I made contact and upon doing so found something yummy.

As this months public service annoucncement I present to you Connecticuts own Suicide Dolls, the coolest trio you’ve never seen.
Ive opted for an email interview since I loved the writing style I saw in their Twitter.. check out whats happening in the real world while Kesha gets the press.

What’s with the name- tell me about your band mates, and your backgrounds.The Band ::
the Suicide Dolls are Brian James Albano (Brian Suicide) — guitar/vocals // Michelle Montavon (Michelle Suicide) — bass/vocals // Matt Covey — drums.
Brian and I have known eachother since 1988 & have been playing music since 1994. We’re from New London, CT and started in 2002. We actually took a break to work on a political campaign in late 2003, but picked up again in 2004 and haven’t stopped since. We’ve worked with many talented drummers over the years, but are really happy to be playing with Matt Covey again… this is his second run with us, the first being in 2006-2007, and then again from 2009-present. Matt has dedicated his entire life to the drums, and it shows.

Our Name ::
Anyone, with any vice, plays with their own self-destruction and is therefore a Suicide Doll.
Charlie Sheen is a Suicide Doll… Eliott Spitzer, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Televangelist Jim Bakker (caught with his pants down) are all Suicide Dolls. YOU, reading this, are probably one, too.

Strangely, we found out a while after we started that there was a Japanese movie called ‘Suicide Dolls’ (1999) which we never saw. In 2010, there was an American re-make of that movie which we ALSO have not seen.

What are the influences of you and the band as a wholeIf you mean musical influences, we all listen to a wide spectrum of genres… growing up in the 80s, we have a hard time escaping the larger-than-life pop-influence of that decade in general. We’re heavily inspired by 60s psychedlia, 70s punk & No Wave, 80s post-punk & alternative, and 90s+2000s garage, grunge & noise. Covey, our drummer, is also all over the musical map… he can go from Funk, Soul & Jazz, Ska, Reggae & Punk, Hip Hop, Dance or Hardcore in the blink of an eye. Somehow, we make all these influences work when we get together.

Previous bands?
Brian and I both picked up our instruments in 1994. We played in 2 different drone/all-noise bands in the mid-late 90s before eventually turning into the Suicide Dolls. We basically took the far-out, experimental jams of our noise bands and incorporated them into a pop/punk structure.
Covey has played with tons of bands, including The Flaming Tsunami’s, and is currently also the drummer for Shai Hulud (Metal Blade Records) who are a Progressive Hardcore/Metalcore band, which interestingly couldn’t be more different than us genre-wise.

What are your thoughts on the current state of music? With people like Beiber and Gaga taking over the air, is alternative music worth the fight?While there’s not much we can do about the state of popular music today, as music lovers, we can’t help but resent what it has become. It has never been so saturated, with so few choices on the national airwaves. The select few that ARE played are violently shoved down people’s throats. With enough repetition of the same thing, people start to believe that they actually LIKE it.

The fact that our culture has been trying to put 16 yr old kids on a pedestal, or look to them for any kind of substance AT ALL is depressing. Likewise, we’re not entirely sure how Gaga became as powerful as she is. Like why would Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, call her before announcing ANY legislative decisions?? It seems absurd to us. We shouldn’t be watching CNN and be told that politicians are looking to her for direction on any issue, or get ‘coast-to-coast reaction’ of Bieber’s haircut. It is troubling to us, to say the least.

On the other side, though, there has never been a bigger underground than there is now. There are undergrounds to the underground… In a way, alternative music has been given the chance to re-claim its’ genre. The hardest part for us sometimes is that we are little older and clearly remember the 80s– when alternative really WAS the alternative to what was on the radio… It’s starting to feel like that actually exists again, and that’s not so bad.

Self promotion, social networking. Do you find it helpful or expected? The market is saturated with bands now, how do you stand out?We absolutely find it helpful. Technology has shrunken the world, and we would no - Rock NYC Live and Recorded


Michelle Montavon and Brian Albano are freaking out about several things. First, the bad news: they're still reeling from last week's announcement that Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon are breaking up. The split between Sonic Youth's lead dude and dudette might be a news item for most folks, but it hits close to home for Montavon and Albano, whose punky romance is cut from a similar mold. The New London husband and wife co-founded the Suicide Dolls in 2002, but they've been a couple since high school. Moore and Gordon — one of the few happy rock couples out there — projected a fusion of stability and creativity that Montavon and Albano found appealing.

"I never thought there was gonna be no Sonic Youth," says Montavon. "Even the Rolling Stones are in their 60s and putting out music that's still challenging. They're not just phoning it in. So I figured if they were still together, Sonic Youth would be too."

"[Sonic Youth was] doing something bands haven't done recently, which is that they were progressing," adds Albano, musing on their recent run of acclaimed releases.

The Suicide Dolls are progressing, too. (That's the good news.) Along with drummer Matt Covey, Montavon and Albano finally entered the studio to record their first album. "We've done everything kind of backwards as a band," Montavon explains. "We didn't take the whole thing seriously until five or six years ago, and then we quit our jobs and said 'Let's do this, we're not getting any younger.' We really didn't have the money to get a producer or go into a nice studio. We did a lot of home recordings, which I think sounded OK for home recordings, but they didn't capture us in the best way."

The grunge trio was sick of making excuses ("We would send tracks to booking agents but we would always say 'We really sound better live!'" says Montavon), so they decided to take the plunge and record earlier this year. The resulting album, Prayers in Parking Lots, comes out in November.

Albano describes the album's sound as "big guitars, big bass, big drums; a lot of moodiness, rockiness, a lot of emotion in there. I think we put our hearts on our sleeve. It gives a nod to a lot of the bands we were influenced by. I would say we're more influenced by the underground bands of the '80s than the '90s. Our drummer calls it like a rhinoceros of sound. Always sort of on the attack."

It's a long-overdue album for a band that has been a staple of the New London scene for years now. Dark and bitter, the Suicide Dolls have been at the center of the city's image as a source of turbulent rock. "There is a lot of angst in our music," says Montavon. "We still have that 15-year-old angst that comes through. But a lot of the music [that's popular right now] is sort of happy, like 'I'm gonna forget about what's going on and dance the night away.' That's great, but there needs to be some room in the industry for stuff that's dealing with the changing times."

Albano sums up their outlook thusly: "I don't mind if you find happiness and lollipops, but first I want you to take a journey through night to get to it."

You can preview nine of the tracks from Prayers in Parking Lots on the Suicide Dolls' Bandcamp page, thesuicidedolls.bandcamp.com. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for an announcement regarding their upcoming CD release show.
- CT.COM


I first heard of The Suicide Dolls a few months ago through a myspace page, but havent until now had time to catch a show. I was psyched to see them and they put on a good show. Brand New And Close By is my favorite tune. The Suicide Dolls sound is gritty and raw. Think back to the early 90s pacific northwest grunge scene. If you keep up with the band you know they're playing on the regular out in NYC. Check these guys out next time they play and see where they take this band.



- WailingCity.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

**With the relaunch of this site, info was lost and All Past Shows from 2006 on have been deleted by the website. Please bear with us while we take the time to rebuild what was erased.**

The Suicide Dolls were awarded 'Best Rock Band' in CT at the 2012 CT Music Awards held in Hartford, 'Best New Artist' at the 2012 New England Music Awards held in Boston, and 'Album of the Year' & 'Best Alternative Song' at the 2012 Whalie Awards held in New London CT.

>>2013 UPDATES

For the 2nd year in a row, the Suicide Dolls were named one of the Top 5 Rock Bands in CT by the 2013 CT Music Awards. They were also awarded the People's Choice Award for  "Best Alternative Band'' at the 2013 Whalie Awards. Extremely active in the Boston Music Scene, the Suicide Dolls were included as one of the 24 participants in the 2013 Rock N Roll Rumble, a celebration of Boston Music now in its' 35th year. Mission of Burma, The Lemonheads, Til Tuesday, Morphine, Cave In & The Dresden Dolls have also participated in this beloved festival.

>> The trio are featured on American Laundromat Records 2012 release, "A Tribute to Repo Man" covering the Circle Jerks 'When the Shit Hits the Fan'. Other artists include Frank Black, Amanda Palmer, Mike Watt (Stooges/Minutemen), Matthew Sweet, Those Darlins, Weekend & more. 

>>The Suicide Dolls have shared the stage with bands spanning many genres, including:

The Fixx, Jay Reatard, Ceremony, Titus Andronicus, Hospitality, Bear Hands, Exit Music, Dom, Aloke (who went on to form Grouplove), Nightmare Air, Mean Creek, Radical Dads, White Fence, Ovlov, Grandchildren, Oneida, the Spores, Martha Wanwright, Kidz in the Hall, The Sound of Urchin, Radar Eyes, and many others.

>>On their contribution to the 2012 "Repo Man" Tribute Album:

"A gloriously sleazy gutter-punk-junk version of When The Shit Hits The Fan by the Suicide Dolls is a lethargically drawled pleasure."--Ged Babey, Louder Than War

"The Suicide Dolls take on the most challenging task, in my opinion, by trying to blend both the original punk rock feel of the Circle Jerks "When The Shits The Fan" with the band's own lounge parody of it. Instead, they change it into an X-style rave up that expresses both the burn out of living in Hollywood along with the energy of hope of moving there in the first place." --Christ Estey, Three Imaginary Girls

"Make me choose three tracks as the best ones in this collection and Ill go for The Suicide Dolls, Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra and Weekend."--Sloucher.org

"The Suicide Dolls cover the Circle Jerks' "When The Shit Hits The Fan" (which the band performed as a lounge act in the film) in a fuzzed-out approach that sounds almost exactly how I'd expect the Vaselines to take on the punk classic"
-- About.com Guide

>>The Band recently self-released their new full length album, "Prayers in Parking Lots", which was co-produced by Justin Pizzoferrato, (Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Speedy Ortiz, Chelsea Light Moving).

>>On their 2012 Self Release, "Prayers In Parking Lots":

"Pizzoferrato nails the sound the band is obviously going for, as it conjures the unmistakable influence of
their favorite bands. The music has that driving force of Youre Living All Over Me (Dinosaur Jr) and the experimental edge of Daydream Nation (Sonic Youth)." -- Verbicide Magazine

"Quite possibly my favorite record of 2012" --Janelle Jones, Amp Magazine

"Prayers in Parking Lots is a good example of how music can include as many genres as you want if you know how to weave them together. The Suicide Dolls have gone and shown how masterful they are at this loom. " --Sloucher.org

"Its a confident album with a big, bristling sound: Montavon's basslines charge along in lockstep with Coveys pounding drums, while Albano delivers tough guitar riffs that seethe with tension." --Eric Danton, Rolling Stone, ex-Hartford Courant

>>On their Live Shows:

"With virtually no breaks between songs, the Dolls ripped through an almost 45 minute set. I sensed a strong vibe of 80s dark wave and 90s noise rock in their songs, especially in Albanos guitar sound, and it gave the Dolls one of the more interesting sounds Ive heard in awhile."--Paul J. Comeau, Razorcake

"Their focus and attention to detail is apparent as they were able to deliver an intense performance, carefully executing with surgical precision." -- Knitting Factory Blog

"The Suicide Dolls mesmerize you with sound... the mood is intense sensory overload... the power of the sound seems to be coming from somewhere else, and like ambient music, you can both drift and be stilled."
--Iman Lababedi, (formerly of Creme Magazine), currently with Rock NYC Live and Recorded







Band Members