The deficiency of original personnel is not the lone reason this self-deprecating title should not be sold as legitimate Dolls. (Heck, the Rolling Stones have been touring/recording for decades without original members.) But, 30-plus years since the Dolls' aptly titled Too Much Too Soon, the once threatening mascara- and platform-boots-adorned Dolls are now far from being funky or chic. Arguably, it was Thunders who uncorked the reckless firepower with his gutter guitar leads and a self-destructive, junkie-in-hock mystique.
Nostalgic differences aside, this is a pretty decent retro-rock album. Too many ballads surface, but solo Johansen fans will happily devour this slick but timeless rawk platter inspired by Diddley-esque beats, girl groups, Delta blues and undoubtedly, the Stones. The jungle hop of "Dance Like a Monkey" sleazily resurrects the rollicking R&B bedlam of "Stranded in the Jungle," while the keyboard-driven pop of "Rainbow Store" is a generous reworking of the Shangri-Las' "Give Him a Great Big Kiss." Both pay homage to a time when androgynous street urchins like the New York Dolls reigned over a pre-CBGB's landscape.