2-piece UK rock group Dolls (Jade on guitar/vocals, Bel on drums/vocals) first released physical copies of their Eggshells EP in late June as part of Love Record Store Day, and it finally gets a digital release tomorrow, August 28th. Mixing classic girl group vocals, bubblegum hooks and grunge heaviness, Dolls make a tuneful ruckus that hits like a sledgehammer but then bounces back up again.
Lead track “Bubble Bath” carries a strong message against body shaming through it’s catchy, power pop chorus and child-like harmonizing. Jade’s vocals carry that 90’s, disaffected lilt, and the distorted guitar freak-out coda of the track is something you can tell Kurt Cobain would have loved. The focus on body image continues in “Hot Bodies” (“Everybody wants a hot body. Everybody needs a hot body. But I don’t really know what a hot body is”), with its moody guitar lines and quiet/loud dynamics recalling prime Pixies.
Dolls aren’t all heavy bops; “Secret Ugly Baby” is absolutely pretty during the folky opening and pleading ending harmonies. Sure, Bel’s drums take thing into stadium-sized slacker rock in the middle, but the ladies make their case for knowing how to entice with acoustics as much as electric noise.
The EP closes on a high point with the title track. The juxtaposition between Bel’s bellowing percussion and Jade’s coy vocals has an alluring effect. When the harmonized “oooos” come in, expectations of a darker sound are hinted at, making the poppy, sing-song chorus all the more surprising. The track goes out with memorable, ebullient chantings (“Everything is messed up, messed up” and “Eggshells breaking under my feet.”) that would certainly have a crowd singing along.
Check out “Bubble Bath” and “Eggshells” below, and hear the full EP tomorrow!