#Review: Doll Skin – Love Is Dead And We Killed Her

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Muzik Speaks Loves Hopeless Records - SmallerDoll Skin are an all-female rock band from Phoenix, Arizona, consisting of Meghan Herring (drums/co-lead vocals), Sydney Dolezal (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Nicole Rich (bass/backing vocals) and Alex Snowden (lead guitar/backing vocals). The band’s sound is a blend of punk, metal, alternative rock & pop. In April 2019, Doll Skin announced that they had signed to Hopeless Records, to release their third album, Love Is Dead And We Killed Her. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Doll Skin - Love Is Dead And We Killed Her.jpg

There will undoubtedly be people who will compare Doll Skin to the likes of The Donnas or other all-female punk bands but Love Is Dead And We Killed Her is possibly one of the most exciting rock records I’ve heard this year. It’s fresh, enthralling and unique.

From the anger-fuelled, scream anthem that is the opening track, ‘Don’t Cross My Path’ which sees the chanting of “This is a song for everyone I hate,” and “Throw your tantrum, meet my rage,” to the final notes of ‘Homesick’ – a track about returning home, to the people you have missed – this is a cyclical album with strong themes of karma, facing internal demons and broken relationships throughout.

There is plenty of metaphorical imagery intertwined too, such as the closing track casting thought-provoking scenes about finding peace, or single, ‘Mark My Words’, casting scenes about tattooing Sydney‘s words onto someone to tell of the hell she’s been through because of them.

It’s really hard not to write about every track for different reasons; from ‘No Fear’ with it’s captivating vocal melody and impeccably strong delivery or title track, ‘Love Is Dead And We Killed Her’, a payback track about karma catching up with their ex lover, through to ‘When They Show Their Teeth’ and its frantic drum intro with good old punk rock ‘na, na, nas’ (very much the kind of track you’d hear playing over the footage of a car chase scene with shaky camera shots, high-octane, skilled manoeuvres and even a crowd-pleasing, clap-along breakdown at the end too; there’s really a bit of something for every punk or rock music lover here.

There’s something exciting about the delivery throughout the record and a real sense of diversity in the production and tone of each track.

For me though, it’s the middle tracks of the record that really grabbed my attention. ‘Outta My Mind’ is possibly the strongest track on the record, instantly giving me goosebumps. It’s the kind of career-defining song that people come back to as a fan favourite with incredible gang vocals and and angsty but upbeat tone that is somehow also heavy at the same time.

‘Ink Stains’ has some lovely the half-time moments, a high-pitched, powerful vocal, with the cutting line, “You won’t be hearing from me any more,” and even a chaotic, half-spoken, half-sung breakdown, a bit like the one in Good Charlotte’s ‘Predictable’.

‘Nasty Man’ is a deep track, seemingly about a predatory man – someone promising a young girl what she wants and taking advantage of it, whilst ‘Your Idols Are Dying’ is an angst-ridden anthem about internal struggles, drugs and finding out that the people you admire and look up to most are not all they’re made up to be. There’s a perfect scream breakdown that goes right to the end of the track too!

‘Empty House’ is another example of a metaphorical track too, initially addressing being alone and screaming out for help, but it’s a progressive story that builds to a more positive ending, about learning to love yourself – it’s quite beautiful!

It’s actually funny how an album cover can mislead you – I wasn’t expecting to like this record quite as much as I did, based on the cover alone, but ended up thoroughly loving it. It’s a real testament to show that you shouldn’t judge an album by its cover.

Love Is Dead And We Killed Her is a truly exciting album that although wouldn’t always be my normal cup of tea, truly captivated me. There’s something exciting about the delivery throughout the record and a real sense of diversity in the production and tone of each track. Sure, there are certain elements that fall within the same vein as Paramore but they are also, so much more – it’s like they learnt to scream and got a whole bit heavier in tone.

I’m super excited to see what Doll Skin put out next, as this album is a banger, and you can bet these tracks will be incredible live!

Rating
4-5


‘Love Is Dead And We Killed Her’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/love-is-dead-and-we-killed-her/1459583026


Love Is Dead And We Killed Her on Spotify

Mark My Words (Official Music Video)

Outta My Mind (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s third release? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: You Me At Six – VI


   

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You Me At Six are an English rock band from Surrey. Since forming in 2004, the band have enjoyed various successes with all of their albums (except their first) reaching the Top 5 of the UK Album Charts and their fourth album, Cavalier Youth, reached Number 1! Now, 2018 sees the band return with their aptly-named sixth studio album, VI. Here’s what we have to say about it…

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One thing is for certain, this band are superb at adapting their sound and have continued to evolve throughout their already pretty lengthy career. Their previous album, Night People, received rather mixed reviews suggesting it was a rather disjointed effort – although credit to them for trying something new! However, this is all about to change with VI!

The album bursts into life with the very gritty and rather explosive ‘Fast Forward’, which sees Franceschi screaming, “Pour some gasoline on,” with his trademark gravelly voice. The track has highs and lows in all the right places – prominent, grungy synths make this a strong album opener…think U2 but heavier!

Next to follow is the hugely atmospheric, stadium-filler, ‘Straight To My Head’ with 80s-style synths, strong bass lines and an incredibly catchy, chant-able chorus – possibly the best track on the record.

There is a distinctly indie meets disco sound across the album too. Lead single ‘3AM’ epitomises the vibe of the record; like something by The KillersThe Maccabees or even Bastille maybe, with a running rhythm to the vocals, whilst ‘Back Again’ is possibly the most pop-like track on the album, seeing Franceschi using his falsetto – a great, feel-good track.

They’ve once again diversified their sound, kept it fresh and refused to stick to a sound that’s previously brought them success.

Possibly the weakest songs have to be ‘I O U’ – a bass-led affair that feels disjointed in places; it’s quite experimental, in that it changes pace and sound throughout. Also, ‘Predictable’ is quite similar to something by Arctic Monkeys; it’s a little droning and not particularly memorable. Whilst ‘Pray For Me’ is a wonderfully euphoric song but throughout feels like it’s going to a place that it never actually goes.

‘Danger’ instantly grabs your attention with a beat that starts almost identically to Toni Basil‘s ‘Mickey’, but quickly demonstrates it’s much more edgy than that. It’s an upbeat track with some incredible, diverse vocals – a really strong track!

Probably the most controversial song on the album, is closing track, ‘Losing You’ – it builds beautifully with some captivating vocal effects and all-consuming reverb on the synths and guitars. It is bound to be a real mixed-bag with the fans.

It has to be said that You Me At Six have done a superb job with this record – they’ve once again diversified their sound, kept it fresh and refused to stick to a sound that’s previously brought them success. They’re a band that press forward and continue to grow and VI clearly shows that the band have made an album they wanted to make – for that, they should be very proud.

Rating
3.5


‘VI’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/vi/1380831965


VI on Spotify

3AM (Official Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrELmjpktYE


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s…? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#reDISCOVERED: Good Charlotte

Welcome to our first re:DISCOVERED post!

Although this post is a trial, to see the reactions it gets, these posts will hopefully be a monthly occurrence, appearing on the first Sunday of every month (the Sunday after our monthly playlist).

This month, we have #reDISCOVERED: Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte Banner2

Good Charlotte originated from Waldorf, Maryland, USA and formed in 1995. Since 1998, the band has consisted of four constant members; twins Joel and Benji Madden, Paul Thomas and Billy Martin; then, since 2005, they have had drummer Dean Butterworth on board.

The band’s frontmen, the Madden twins, had a relatively rough childhood; on Christmas Eve 1995, the pair’s father upped and left, leaving the rest of the family to be evicted from their house. They then went on to work a whole host of jobs to help keep their family in their new home, as their mother had the autoimmune disease, lupus, meaning that she regularly stayed in hospitals. It was in 1996 their band began to take shape and record demos, launching them into their career, slowly but surely. This band and its members are ones I feel truly deserve to be where they are; they’ve worked their way up from nothing, to their global successes and achievements – a true marvel!


Good Charlotte

In September 2000, Good Charlotte released their debut album, Good Charlotte, with their first single, Little Things, being featured in the film, Dude, Where’s My Car?

The band went on to release a couple of other singles from the album, but the next track I want to feature is WaldorfWorldwide which is an album track also taken from their debut album. This song has a very ska-punk feel to it and caught my attention due to it’s interesting vibe.


The Young and the Hopeless

It was in 2002 (USA) and 2003 (Worldwide), when GC released their second album, The Young and the Hopeless, that they fully captured the world’s attention with their first single off the album, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This track was iconic dude to its intense pop-punk sound and lyrical content about celebrities and their lack of appreciation for how privileged they are.

Next I’ve chosen single, The Anthem, which literally is an anthem for the band! The video featured cameo appearances from other American pop-punk bands, MEST and Home GrownNew Found Glory were also present at the filming, but weren’t featured in the final video. This particular song has gone on to be featured in a whole host of films, soundtracks and television programmes.

The third single from the album, Girls & Boys, has to be mentioned due to it’s popularity; up to this point this was their highest charting single in the UK, reaching number 6. The song is themed around girls basically being gold-diggers and the video featured elderly people playing video games and ends with Benji Madden, waking up to find an elderly lady in his t-shirt!

The final from this album was Hold On and this song particularly struck a chord with me due to its video. The song was written by the band, in response to letters they received from fans who said they were considering suicide. The video then featured several people talking about their experiences of either surviving suicide attempts or talking about loved ones they’d lost to suicide. This song feels personal and like it speaks out to fans – it’s a song to bring people, going through similar things, together.


The Chronicles of Life and Death

The first single from this 2004 album was Predictable and saw an angrier side to GC. I particularly liked this song at the time, due to its angry, almost-spoken, sections – it really was every emo-kids wet dream to chant along to…and sort of still is! The video was interesting too, taking place in an almost Edward Scissorhands-like town, which was actually drawn by band member, Billy Martin.

Next, I’ve chosen the title track from the album, The Chronicles of Life and Death – this song has quite a plodding feel to its verses before bursting into an anthemic chorus about life and death, as is the song’s theme. It’s quite a simple, yet effective track.

The final song I’ve chosen from this album is the song We Believe; as well as being the final single from the album, this song captured me from the very first listen of the album. I adore the build-up from the mellow verses to the more beautifully chaotic choruses – even the instrumental breakdown feels passionate. It’s a real chanter and makes you feel like you’re part of something special when you sing along. This is possibly one of my favourite GC songs!


Good Morning Revival

Released in 2007, this album saw GC move from pop-punk to dance-punk with its more synth-infused sound. I have chosen the first single off this album, The River, as it is one of my other, favourite GC tracks, featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from the band, Avenged Sevenfold. The song features several Bible references but has a very catchy chorus.

The next song I’d like to mention is Misery, which although was released as the fourth single taken from the album, did not ever have a music video. This song really encapsulates their dance-punk sound from this album; the bridge from the verse to the chorus has an interesting, fast-sung quality to it and works well with the synths underlying the song.

The final song I’ve chosen from this album, was the album track, Broken Hearts Parade, as it’s got a very ska-punk quality to it, similar to their track WaldorfWorldwide from their earlier days.

This album also saw the band support Justin Timberlake on some dates of his FutureSex/LoveSounds Tour.


Cardiology

In 2010, GC released their fifth album. This particular album saw the band return to their more pop-punk sound, with Benji Madden stating that the album would “sound a lot like Blink-182.”

I’ve chosen album track Counting The Days as my first featured song from this album; I love the gang vocals towards the end of the song as it would make a real crowd-pleaser at a live show!

The penultimate track was the second single released from GC’s fifth album, Sex On The Radio. The song’s all-consuming chorus makes you sing along and whilst it’s sort of cheesy, it’s got quite a 1970s/1980s rock feel to it, making it quite a stand-out track.

The last song I’ve chosen is GC’s final single release (to date!), 1979. This sound has a very summery feel to it with its predominantly acoustic-driven sound. It also paved the way for The Madden Brothers‘ debut album, Greetings From California, which has a similar vibe, even though it wouldn’t come for another four years after this album. You can read more about The Madden Brothers on our recent #FeelGoodFriday post.


So here it is, the full list of Good Charlotte, re:DISCOVERED. Please feel free to watch the playlist on YouTube or listen to it on Spotify, both of which are found below:

  1. Little Things
  2. WaldorfWorldwide
  3. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
  4. The Anthem
  5. Girls & Boys
  6. Hold On
  7. Predictable
  8. The Chronicles of Life and Death
  9. We Believe
  10. The River featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates
  11. Misery
  12. Broken Hearts Parade
  13. Let The Music Play
  14. Sex On The Radio
  15. 1979

As for the future of Good Charlotte, no one is certain. The band are rumoured to be working on a sixth album, but nothing is set in stone, as of yet. We’ll keep you updated though.


I hope you’ve enjoyed our first re:DISCOVERED post about a band who mean a great deal to me. Are you a Good Charlotte fan? What are your favourite songs by the band? Please share this with your friends on your social media accounts and spread the GC love.

Matt – Muzik Speaks