Doll Fight!, Morning Again | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Doll Fight!, Morning Again 

Album Review

Published April 13, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.


(Self-released, CD)

On a strictly local level, punk rock has traditionally been a male-dominated pursuit. But the new all-girl Doll Fight! aim to alter that landscape with their riot-grrrl-inspired debut, Morning Again. In the span of a scant nine tracks and 18 minutes, the trio serves up enough punk fury to rival just about any boy group in recent memory.

An intro track sets the album’s strange thematic tone. Over a kooky jumble of assorted noises seemingly lifted out of an old Saturday-morning kids variety show, a thin, juvenile female voice — presumably that of one of the band’s namesake dolls — ruminates on the queer conundrum of being a narcoleptic doctor and missing phone calls from dying patients. “My beeper beep-beeps when someone needs me quick / I always have to hurry cuz they might be sick / I want to help the people who go beep, beep, beep / But sometimes they call me when I’m sound asleep,” she sings with creepy innocence. Imagine Chucky the doll’s less murderous female cousin and you’re on the right track.

The album begins in earnest with the title cut. Vocalist and guitarist Christine Mathias gets her Donita Sparks on early, spitting rapid-fire venom that would do the L7 front woman proud. Behind Mathias, Kelly Riel unfurls a nimble, rolling bass line, as Jane Boxall nips at her heels with snarling drums.

Trading distortion for jangle, “Trash” is a leaner, more melodically adventurous cut. Mathias is delightfully unhinged as she ponders the peculiar narcissism and vulnerability involved in songwriting. Her delivery is less aggressive here and she occasionally wavers in pitch as a result. That’s certainly not a deal breaker in punk. And, if anything, her hesitant delivery illustrates the insecurities implied in her musings.

Doll Fight! come out swinging on “TV & You & Me,” which bristles with slobbering punk rage. These are no dainty ladies, a fact driven home by the song’s vicious call-and-response chorus.

The disc’s closing track, “Insomnia,” is something of a centerpiece as well as the song that inspired the entire suite of material. As they do on most cuts here, Doll Fight! deliver a surprisingly complex arrangement — at least for the genre. But they do so with enough haphazard zeal to avoid neutering the song’s ragged intensity. It’s a fine balance to strike, and one the band mostly manages from start to finish. Morning Again is a roundly impressive, if all too brief, debut.

Doll Fight! play the Hub teen center in Bristol this Saturday, April 16.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation