Following up from 2017’s ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’, Arizona based quintet Doll Skin‘s third album, ‘Love Is Dead And We Killed Her’ delivers metallic punk rock with a power-pop influence.
Direct, infectious, and lyrically biting, the record steamrolls its way through each track without looking back.
‘Outta My Mind’ tears through juddering palm-muting and spikey chords as gang vocals dominate its catchy chorus. Delivering attitude and a strong sense of melody, here the group straddles the line between punk and power pop with ease.
The same can be said for ‘Your Idols Are Dying’, an urgent and aggressive song, on which underneath the jagged distortion and thrash influenced riffing lies an indelible chorus. The same chorus is re-interpreted towards the end of the track, with guitarist/vocalist Sydney Dolezal turning towards an introspective viewpoint.
One of the main standouts of the record is the honest and fearless lyrics. From the scathing ‘Nasty Man’ equipped with lines like “Scarred from years ago / ’cause no one told him no”, to the unwavering coda of “I know what I’m worth” that closes ‘Empty House’. These can be difficult topics to discuss, but are important ones that Doll Skin confront with great aplomb.
Backing up Dolezal‘s infectious vocal hooks is a flurry of buzz saw guitars, shimmering melodies, and snapping drum beats. Notably, ‘Ink Stains’ see lead guitarist Alex Snowden run around tremolo picking and stabbing chords with fury. The same can be said for the aforementioned ‘Outta My Mind’, a track that boasts a bluesy and deceptively technical solo.
As the record nears its end, ‘When They Show Their Teeth’ sees the band embrace the power pop influenced structure, with an infectious chanted motif and harmonised lead guitar and vocal lines offsetting the chugging rhythms of bassist Nicole Rich and drummer Meghan Herring.
From the bright finger-picked notes that open ‘No Fear’ to the crushing crescendo that closes ‘Homecoming’, ‘Love Is Dead And We Killed Her’ is a riotous and hook laden affair. Steeped in honesty with a foundation of memorable riffs and choruses, Doll Skin have created a record that will without question be screamed back at their live shows.
A short guy, loves all genres, still believes it’s 2005. Watches too much TV.