With the glut of so many rock and roll bands on the market it's easy to forget how good the music can sound in the hands of the right people. After years of listening to so many attempting variations on basically the same theme, it all began to sound the same. For all the lack of variety it might as well be one band playing the same set over and over again with periodic line up changes. All of which makes it more amazing when a band is able to distinguish itself from the hoards of others playing what they think is rock and roll.
Back in 1973 when the New York Dolls first swaggered into prominence it was because they had attitude to go with great musical chops. Before CBGBs had even opened its doors, The Dolls were playing the gritty, edgy music that's come to be associated with New York City punk bands like the Ramones. They might have been wearing their girl friends' lipstick and halter-tops on stage, but they played rock and roll that sounded like it could take on all comers with one hand tied behind its back. Unfortunately, they didn't last very long and the original band fell apart in 1975.
When the only two survivors of the original Dolls line up, lead singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, reformed the group in 2004 it had to be wondered whether they would be able to recapture any of what they had thirty years prior. With the release of the 2006 One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This and last year's Live At The Filmore East proving they could still kick anybody's ass when it came to rock and roll, they've now prepared their second studio assault on the masses. Rhino Records in the UK May 4. '09 and in the US May 5, '09, shows that not only haven't they lost their touch, but compared to what these guys have to offer, most other bands are just going through the motions.
Right from the opening defiant chords of the tittle track "Cause I Sez So" to the final chord's echo fades away twelve cuts latter this is as definitive a rock and roll album as I've heard in years. Not only can they still rock the socks off everybody with delusions of being punks in the year 2009, they can reach back into the depths of time to the roots of the music with equal ease. While one song might be redolent of the blues from the deep south, another will remind you that rock and roll owes as much a debt to the Ozarks as it does the Mississippi Delta. They don't forget the more modern influences either as track five, "My World", evokes memories of early British blues bands like Eric Burden and the Animals.