Roller Coaster – 3/5
Dolly Dolly, Make a Epoch – 2.5/5
The name may be nonsensical but still it felt oddly alluring, tipping my curiosity enough to delve in a bit further. An all girl trio from Osaka (Japan) playing punk rock – all good so far – and time for my usual initial investigation. Cue the hunt for links on the 'tube, and a few moments of this and I thought I had it all figured out; no nonsense, visceral old school punk rock. Raw, rough and ready to rock; the kind where nobody can really play their instruments, but that becomes little more than a minor inconvenience for the “Sid Vicious Syndrome.”
In comes their debut full-length, Dolly Dolly..., and how far off the mark I was led. The problem of having mediocre musical abilities is if you try to display your prowess, things simply get messy; the guitars hang back and use a relatively clean tone that allows you to hear every painful miss-step that the solid but simple bass lines can't disguise. The guitar solo's distinctly slow down so that a decent melody can be formed, and for all the vocalists abilities in the traditional punk manner, god forbid the times when the pace slows to more of a ballad tone; imagine Dee Dee Ramone covering the Chilli Peppers' “Zephyr Song.” There's certainly an argument to be made for staying within your style here.
As we start to meander into electropop territory it's beginning to look as though there's no silver lining, and then all of a sudden things take a drastic change for the better. Yes, we've now reached their EP released a number of years earlier, with a previous drummer in the line-up, and energy out the wazoo; no more experimental ideas or fiddling with old song structures, just plain old punk energy with plenty of fun thrown into the mix. This, sadly, can also be problematic as it's nothing particularly new, but the riffs are simple and performed well, the instruments are all heard in the end production if perhaps not quite as aggressively performed is clear enough. Good for a quick punk fix, but unless they release a live album there's work to be done. I must admit, after hearing that "Roller Coaster" I'm rather disappointed by the end result.