Album Review: The Medicine Dolls – ‘Filth And Wisdom’

  • Mark Cartwright posted
  • Reviews

The Medicine Dolls

Filth & Wisdom - Just Music

Is there anything better than getting to hear a band that you have not heard before, the wonderful anticipation that you get when hitting play, wondering what might be waiting for you, is it going to be a waste of nervous energy or a surge of child like ranting OMG! OMG!

Before we go any further, no its not totally original, yes they do the obvious B-52’s Rock Lobster, a wonderful schizophrenic yet totally confusing cover of Psycho Killer in which front man Greg Allan brings his very own sneeringly dramatic vocal to the fore, but then yes they are original! in every other way, the addition of 2 covers is quite frankly clever, gives the uninitiated a window to climb through.   Hard to not feel the urge to sing a long!

So you might have gotten the fact that The Medicine Dolls are a garage/surf/rock punk band with psychotic leanings, what they do also have is cool as fuck dripping from every pore, the South African trio bring something long awaited to this their debut long play, a sound that, if you are a fan of the dramatic, a lover of everything that bends genres without being stupidly boring, bringing melody where its needed and darkness that never overpowers, this is for you.

14 tracks long and still over too quickly, kicking off with ‘Funeral Surf’ that positively drips with B-52’s undercurrents but is when the vocal kicks in you know your in for a ride, leading into ‘Danger Danger Disco’ next is where you now know things starting hotting up, adding synth/keyboard to a surf rock sound sets the stall for some exotic moments still to come within the bowls of this album. If this wasn’t enough, the lead single ‘Vicious Little Sister’ rocks in and drags you along for a dirty low down punk fest of garage rock that drapes a sexy smoking hot vocal.

Throughout every track you are suitably aware of all the influences that have pushed this band along and how they have taken an industrial style blender then blitzed the fuck out of everything.

 Playing everything on repeat for a week or so before writing this up, it became very obvious that what this band does do very very well, is never stick to any rules, smash down all ideas that being a pschobilly/punk-a-billy band means staying dark and moody, although blood curdling and bone chilling they do do so well, ‘Bad Sugar’ has such a vibe, then you get ‘She Tastes Like Cocaine’ with its bouncy melodically wonderful riffs that spin around a dark and sinister lyric.

The Medicine Dolls have arrived!  Throwing all the cool as fuck into a frenzy of “shit we just got old”.  Music that glams up the dramatic when needed, then slams its dirty sound all over your ears with a sexy wonderfulness. 


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See The Video for ‘Danger Danger Disco’ below