June 24, 2019 Doll Skin – Love Is Dead And We Killed Her (Album Review)
Driven by fast tempos, playful energy, multicolored hair, and a daring look in their eyes, up-and-coming Riot Grrrl band Doll Skin are ready to drop their sophomore LP, Love Is Dead And We Killed Her, on Friday, June 28, 2019, via Hopeless Records.
For music fans unfamiliar with this fearsome foursome, Doll Skin is an all Riot Grrrl band out of Phoenix, Arizona, who blend a fierce mix of Pop Punk and Alternative Metal to go along with painfully outspoken lyrics. A marriage in Punk Rock, the savvy young ladies of Doll Skin – Sydney Dolezal (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Alex Snowden (Lead Guitar), Nicole Rich (Bass), and Meghan Herring (Drums) – met at Scottsdale, Arizona’s School of Rock back in 2013. As if it was meant to be, Doll Skin were soon crushing music competitions, including one judged by the legendary David Ellefson, Bassist for Megadeth. Deservingly, Doll Skin won first place and impressed Ellefson so much that he offered to produce their first album. After killing it in more local competitions, Doll Skin were proud to be named in the Phoenix New Times as one of the ten best bands in Phoenix, AZ, under the age of 21.
In 2015, Doll Skin’s hard work paid off when the band was signed to the EMP Label Group and released their debut EP, In Your Face, which was re-released with additional tracks in 2016 as In Your Face (Again). Moving on up, in June 2017, Doll Skin released their first full-length album, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart. To date, Doll Skin has received raving reviews from fans and critics alike for their irresistible music and spirited live performances, which includes the band taking names as part of the final Warped Tour in 2018.
In April 2019, Doll Skin proudly signed to Hopeless Records and are ready to take on the world with the engaging new album Love Is Dead And We Killed Her. In discovering Love Is Dead And We Killed Her, fans of Doll Skin will find this album to chronicle devastating moments, perhaps a bad break-up, and the will to move forward. In their own words, Doll Skin commented on the subject matter stating: “This album was written about traumatic or extraordinary events that have impacted us as humans and we wanted to share those emotions with people who can relate. We want to be vocal for those who may feel like they don’t have a voice. Lots of these songs tackled issues that upset us and we want to put out a message that we feel matters and to have a point behind all of our songs.”
All of the above in mind, let’s pop in Love Is Dead And We Killed Her to find out exactly why love has met her demise. Up first, the album begins with soberingly slow guitar paired with Dolezal’s emotive vocals on “Don’t Cross My Path.” After a haunting start, dynamic guitar and drums kick-off a full throttled barrage of Riot Grrrl energy. The title track is up next, as “Love Is Dead And We Killed Her“ conjures up passive-aggressive guitar that is seemingly happy yet packing revenge. The next layer, “Mark My Words” will in fact make you understand what you did to this person and why you are wrong. In a stirring, upbeat Pop Punk ballad about escaping to an alternate universe, “No Fear” delivers the magnetic sounds of clapping hands to go along with this enchanting tune.
Thereafter, the anthemic “Outta My Mind” will please the soul before the heavy breakdowns of “Ink Stains.” As Love Is Dead And We Killed Her sees Doll Skin reflect life through the music, the album continues to convey powerful messages via tracks like “Empty House,” which is all about being okay with being alone, the circle pit rallying “When They Show Their Teeth,” and then the wonderfully rousing vocals and melody of “Homesick” sums it all up for Doll Skin’s Love Is Dead And We Killed Her.
Thick-skinned, pun intended, Doll Skin are nothing less than four bad ass Grrrls scratching their way to the surface of Riot Grrrl fame. As stated earlier, Doll Skin’s intentions with Love Is Dead And We Killed Her prove to be much more serious than their previous releases. Over the course of eleven new tracks, Doll Skin pen a dark and more straightforward depiction of real pain and real life situations. While Doll Skin’s previous releases attracted the ear more towards the music, Love Is Dead And We Killed Her strongly invites the process of self-reflection, self-help, finding out who you are, and standing up for yourself. In addition, this album sees Doll Skin wishing nothing less than bad karma to the wrongdoers before saying good riddance with a middle finger in the air.
Overall, as well as seeing Doll Skin evolve into a stronger musical act, it is the subject matter on Love Is Dead And We Killed Her that distinctly stands out above the rest and will be a saving grace for anyone dealing with tough times. Sure to garner Doll Skin an even bigger fan base, Cryptic Rock gives Love Is Dead And We Killed Her 4.5 out of 5 stars.