The Dolls chuck the mascara but keep their glam-rock swagger
Back in the mid-’70s, the New York Dolls teetered their way to cult status atop platform heels, shredding on the guitars and giving everyone the finger along the way. Now, a Dolls overhaul has resulted in their fourth studio album after 36 years of trash-talkin’ and lipstick-wearin’. And surprisingly, four decades and only two original members later, the’ve managed to retain their glitter-trash sound.
‘Cause I Sez So is true to the album’s title—cocky, purposefully cretinous and rude as hell. Lead vocalist David Johansen snarls and roars through the album. Even seemingly mellow songs, like the bluesy ambush “Better Than You,” get the Dolls’ trademark screw-you spin: “My baby, don’t talk nasty about her / You don’t even got no class / I’m gonna kick your ass,” Johanson sings in a lilting, taunting, parodic way. And besides the awkward reggae treatment laid thick on their revisioned classic, “Trash,” the Dolls have a record that proves they still kick ass… high heels or not.