Album Review: Painted Doll – Self-Titled

In what has to be one of the most unlikely musical team-ups of the past few years, comedian/musician Dave Hill has gotten together with Autopsy drummer Chris Reifert and has crafted an album of wickedly great psychedelic rock. We’re talking the late 60’s/early 70’s variety.

The story goes that the two got hammered together at a Goblin show in Texas. They became friends and lead them to trade music between each other focusing on obscure late 60’s/early 70’s Dutch and British psych pop. Eventually, Reifert suggested they start a band influenced by the music they were trading. And thus Painted Doll was formed.

And now we have this album.

It’s an excellent homage to the psychedelic rock of yore. Not only do they get the sound and feel right, they’ve written a bunch of instantly memorable songs. It’s one stunner of a debut.

“Together Alone” opens the album on a umm, high note, with a rollicking tale of “surrendering to the beast known as rock n roll”, bolstered by some sizzling lead guitar work. (In fact, there are a lot of ripping solos peppered through the songs on here.) “Carousel” is a bit more laid back and morose. “Hidden Hand” and “Dressing Room” add some fuzzed out urgency to the mix. The title track is a psych pop ode to a “outta sight” lady. “She Talks To Mirrors” flies up into the atmosphere, while “Stairwell” is a shot of 60’s punk of the Nuggets variety. Their take on the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic, “I Put A Spell On You”, which closes out the album, is otherworldly and is bolstered by a fiery, extended guitar solo.

Painted Doll is an unexpectedly wonderful debut from an unexpected pairing of musicians. It’s one of the better psychedelic rock albums you’ll hear this year. Here’s hoping they find time to do another one. You’ll want more after giving this a few listens.

Purchase the album here.

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