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Rhythm & Views

Demolition Doll Rods

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The Demolition Doll Rods long have coasted on their reputation as Detroit-based practitioners of garage music, even winning the public approval of Iggy Pop. The trio's sound is generously stocked with all the right ingredients: primitive punk 'n' roll rhythms; Chuck Berry guitar riffs; a lineup of two guitars, drums and no bass; and oodles of self-conscious, Cramps-style decadence.

On the band's fourth long-player, their remedial rock songwriting--in the fashion of the New York Dolls and the Runaways--seems solely concerned with little more than physical satisfaction in all its permutations ("Take You Home," "Booty Call," "We Will Ride," "Baby Say Unh!"). These two lascivious girls and one horny boy make The Donnas sound chaste by comparison.

In that sense, the Doll Rods are a one-joke band. But on this album, the band has a few more tricks up its collective sleeve. They incorporate some girl-group melodies and rudimentary doo-wop in the bondage paean "Lil' Piece of Leather," and they pull out some backwoods blues snarl for "Where My Baby Be."

How about some gospel-punk? On what is surely the millionth cover of "Amazing Grace," the Doll Rods don't hold back on the loud-fast-rules aesthetic, making for a nice juxtaposition of song arrangement, albeit one seeped in post-modern irony. It ain't gonna change the world like Hendrix playing "The Star-Spangled Banner," but it ought to give listeners a jolt.

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