DOLLHOUSE - "THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING" 7”
We are always frothing at the prospect of a new release on New York label Toxic State, who first brought us the best of Ground Zero hardcore, the New New Breed: bands like Crazy Spirit, Dawn of Humans, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads.
The next wave of Toxic State has released some truly bizarre and no less memorable records. Standouts there include the Pinoccio, Anti-Machine and Dollhouse records for the rockers, and L.O.T.I.O.N. and Blu Anxxiety for the electronic murderers.
To start with Dollhouse you need to know a little about Mommy, who released a couple of psycho raw punk records before imploding. A huge part of Mommy's appeal was Mike's vocals, delivered with more anguish than the customary outrage that defines that genre, recalling Rudimentry Peni's Nick Blinko.
Dollhouse are a continuation of Mike's vocal and lyrical prowess, and he is joined by Hank Wood and Margaret Chardiet (Pharmakon / Cheena). The songs are a mangled mess of hardcore and post-punk, across which Mike's menaced ranting, drooling and pleading express something that has for 40 years drawn people into the orbit of punk and the solace of bands like Dollhouse. Space to express and confront struggles that would isolate and condemn us to loneliness. Sharing this struggle, bound together in the ceaseless grind of service industrial culture and frenetic ultra-connected modern life. Absolution in the din and chaos of punk music.
The closing minute of this record in the track 'The First Day Of Spring' throws a melody into the mix that will stick into your head for days, and like a warm smile from an old friend after a period of solitude and self destruction, the light pours into the room, the flowers bloom, a puppy licks a fairy, a river of silver splits the air, a caterpillar becomes a worm with a top hat and a cute little bow tie, a frog kisses a toad, a lion rides on the back of a lamb, a magician turns disgusting rotten grape juice into delicious refreshing water, the dishes in your sink clean themselves with the help of an enchanted crystal fork, and for a moment you will thank Dollhouse and the world for the cavities and the abscesses, the scars and the wounds, the stench and the slime, the sutures and the scum. You will flip this record over to feel the darkness, but you will get back to that point of magic.
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