Review: House Of Dolls – Welcome To The Department Of Nuclear MedicineTweet
Dublin band House of Dolls first crossed me several years ago when I saw them play to an intimate crowd in Captain America’s; Grabbing the audience’s attention with slick guitar and fresh rock n roll sound. There was something captivating about their live performance. Since that night I’ve always been curious how their sound would translate to record, finally now we have that chance with the release of their début album Welcome To The Department Of Nuclear Medicine.
Opener, Murder Machine, kicks off with vocals reminiscent of early Kasabian. It shows promise that they have indeed captured their live energy in the studio. With a driving bass-line and dirty guitar sound, it’s clear they are a lot heavier than your typical Irish band; shunning the indie pop sound favoured by Irish acts in recent years, it’s a wild mash-up of 60s psychedelic rock, blues and post-punk sound.
From second track, I Thought You Were My Friend, for me the album begins to lack variety; it’s not that the quality in song writing begins to dip, but when not in a live setting the songs just don’t appear to stand out from each other. Several tracks later we are treated to two fine gems in the shapes of Light Starts To Fade and All I Need. Both clear choice for singles. Beginning with guitars blazing, Light Starts To Fade climaxes in chant friendly chorus making it probably the most radio friendly track on the album. The driving drum beat of All I Need complimented by a cleverly lyric’d vocal give it some variation and an edge which allows it to shine.
With clear influences such as Echo and the Bunnymen and The Verve among many others, ‘Welcome To The Department Of Nuclear Medicine’ is a welcome addition to this years releases. However, personally there is just not enough variety, others may disagree but it just does not grab me. House of Dolls still remain a band that must be seen live to appreciate them. There is still a lot of potential and with some slight improvements they could well become Ireland’s answer to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, definitely not an act to write off.