Roulette Girl is the second release from Baltimore trio Mary Prankster. While the band is clearly talented and display a wide range of influences (from Celtic punk to big band-style jazz), most of the music on Roulette Girl falls into a fairly derivative brand of folk rock. Not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing -- the key is to find a way to develop a unique sound or perspective. In that regard, the band is well on its way, thanks to the witty and candid lyrics of lead singer, songwriter, and band namesake Mary Prankster. At their best, the lyrics on Roulette Girl deal with the struggle to find meaning and connect with others. The track "Rational Bohemian" manages to address this struggle with the great throw-away line "I wanna tie one on/in the nightclub of your mind." Elsewhere, the song "New Tricks" deals with nostalgia for days of (seemingly) endless youth and the dawning realization that things haven't gone quite as planned. While all of this may sound rather depressing, Mary Prankster offsets the deeper themes with a wry sense of humor, as on the self-explanatory "The World Is Full of Bastards" (and she's dated every one) and the jazzy "Punk Rock Heaven," which imagines a heaven populated by late punk stars (Johnny Thunders, G.G.Allin, even Kurt Cobain), and where the Sex Pistols play every night. Despite clocking in at a decidedly brief 25:50, Roulette Girl still manages to pack a punch.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Robert Kaups