Dollhouse

The Rock and Soul Circus

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The debut from Sweden's Dollhouse is just what its title implies: a raucous blend of rock & roll and wild soul, topped with a raw, live sound. None of this should come as a surprise, considering that the band practically worships the MC5 and that the disc was indeed produced by the MC5's Michael Davis. Vintage equipment from the '60s and '70s makes them seem more like a tribute to their idols, especially while covering the MC5's "The Human Being Lawnmower." The band does stand on its own, albeit with tons of screeching guitar, wailing vocals, and a slight sense of experimentation. When they're not being taken over by the power of rock & roll, they add a little soul. "Born Under a Bad Sign" (with backup vocals from Lisa Kekaula) and "I Got the Feelin" are like a high-voltage James Brown. The Hives and Jet may have already crossed over to the pop charts, but unlike those bands, Dollhouse's brand of garage punk is a smart emulation of its influences' original intent.

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