Sunset Strip time machine, by T.Odd
Ok, so Metal Sludge has always been a bit of “historical” based website, as it was created in 1998, for one purpose, to expose the bullshit that was the late 80’s, early 90’s sunset strip glam scene. As I’ve said before, it’s the original “TMZ” of glam. Good, bad, or otherwise ‘Sludge pulled the curtain off the phony, fake, lying motherfuckers that permeated the scene back then, and continue to do so today. Here’s the thing though, the songs don’t lie. In this day of bullshit 80’s bands with 1 original member, who’s being sued by another original member that’s jealous that the 1 dude, (usually the singer) carried the flame and kept the music alive, its all bullshit. It’s about the songs, and luckily, lance from Demon Doll records (http://www.demondollrecords.com/) has immortalized an amazing selection of the original “Kings” of the Sunset Strip. Now you have to understand that back in “the day” strip bands didn’t sell their recorded music. If a band recorded a demo it was to get “signed”. It was made for (and usually financed by) the record labels. So there was very little sharing of “demos” between bands, because that was the competition. Only roadies and stripper girlfriends usually got a cassette copy of a demo, and trust me, they paid for it in one-way or another! So now we have an AMAZING selection of those demos, from great bands that never technically “made it”, all re-mixed and released to the general public for the first time on CD and MP3, thanks to Demon Doll! And against my better judgment, I’m going back to the sunset strip! I’m going to show you these records, as best I can, from when they were created. I know I’ve always said I hate the “back in the day” shit, but as a kid that grew up on music, I can’t let these records go unnoticed.
Record: “Rock ‘n Roll Freak Show”
Label: Demon Doll
Why the fuck should you care about this band?
Well, it’s more than ironic that I’m reviewing this record on Halloween. I picked this record to review first, as it’s technically the oldest record I have from Demon Doll, and I wasn’t actually there when DOLL were on the ‘Strip, but there legend and songs have lived on!
What’s their story?
Again, their legend precedes them. When I first moved to LA in 1989 I heard stories about Kerry Doll from my roommate Fred, who was from England and wrote for Metal Forces magazine. I remember the day Fred and I once drove to original DOLL and Pretty Boy Floyd guitarist Ariel Styles “apartment” (he was living in an office building in West Covina) and heard all the DOLL stories, as well as a ton of demos, quite a few of which were re-recorded for Pretty Boy Floyds “Leather Boyz” record after Ariel left the band.
I never met Kerry Doll, but his reputation was still alive and well when I moved to LA. My brother-in-law was around in the DOLL days, and between him and other sources, legend was that Kerry slept in a coffin, and his room was spray-painted completely flat black, including the windows. I had actually heard that he had died, committing suicide by hanging himself from the “D” in the Hollywood sign. Obviously that’s not true, or is it??
This record rules in SO many ways! 14 songs that are VERY early Motley Crue, down to the riffs and lyrics, BUT I find one problem with that. Considering that DOLL was on the ‘Strip in the early 80’s, how could the melody in “7 Minutes in Heaven” be SO similar to Motely Crue’s “Tonight, (we need a lover)” from “theater of pain” in 1985? Did DOLL rip off Motley, or did Motley rip off DOLL? Kerry Doll has a WAY better voice than Vince Neil, so I wonder….
“’Til Death Do Us Part”: The opening acoustic guitar is very “nothing else matters” by Metallica, then kicks in with a mid-tempo ballad. Good song, but not one of the best on the record.
“A Child Shall Lead”: This is an amazing song, but the opening riff is straight up “Live Wire” by Motley!
“After the Fire”: This one sounds a bit too much like “into the fire” by Dokken to me!
“Little White Lies”: This is a good power-ballad that reminds me of fellow 80’s ‘Strip glamsters Ruby Slippers.
“Live Until We Die” is one of the best anthems I’ve ever heard! FUUUUUUUUUKKKKK! This is it man, I don’t know if its an old DOLL song or a new one, but it rules!
“Max Madness”: This a fucking drum solo! Sounds like an extended version of the “Leather Boyz” intro and leads perfectly in the next song.
“Animal in Me”: This is the heaviest song on the record, killer track.
“Electroshok” is a guitar instrumental that is like a dark black angry version of “Eruption” by Van Halen, but I honestly think that if Areil Styles and Eddie Van Halen had to musically “arm wrestle” about who the better guitar player is, MAYBE Eddie would win, but when it comes to song writing AND shredding, Ariel wins hands down!
“Lather Boyz” &“Wild Angels” I avoided reviewing the 2 songs on this record that are also on PBF’s “Leather Boyz” CD, as I don’t know the real deal with all the bullshit about who wrote what, and don’t really care. One thing I can say though is that these versions of “Leather Boyz” & “Wild Angels” are heavier and have way more emotion than PBF’s versions. So if they weren’t written by Ariel and Kerry, then they’re very good actors, because these versions sound like the real deal.
Top 3 tracks: “Live Until We Die”, “A Child Shall Lead”, “Wild Angels”
Where to buy it: $9.99 for a 14 song CD complete with a 6 panel insert is an amazing deal, buy this fucker now! http://www.demondollrecords.com/products/doll-rock-n-roll-freak-show
I remember when my life revolved around finding new bands, this was the mid-80’s, so no internet or MP3 bullshit, I had to drive 30 miles (or get a ride) to Harmony House music in the Macomb Mall, and I would buy anything in the “Heavy Metal” section that had a cool cover. I only wish the DOLL record had been there, as it would have been a huge factor in the soundtrack of my life then, but I’m grateful that it is NOW!