Music » CD Reviews

New York Dolls

Pre Crash Condition: Live From the Royal Festival Hall (Sanctuary)

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From 1971 to 1974, the New York Dolls were the best rock-and-roll band on the planet. They never rose above their cult following, but they planted the seeds of glam and punk, and fanned the flames of guttersnipe art in the grim years of singer-songwriter hegemony.

The Dolls were always sloppy, even at their best, and the new New York Dolls -- reunited at the request of former Dolls fan-club president Morrissey -- retain the haphazard turbulence of their youth. David Johansen still wails like an unholy combination of Howlin' Wolf and Lou Reed; Sylvain Sylvain's guitar retains its distorted fury; and the new kids, bassist Sammi Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks, guitarist Steve Conte, and drummer Brian Delaney, supply a wall of joyful noise. The album starts slowly, but builds to a frenzied climax with extended versions of "Trash," "Jet Boy," "Private World," and 10 other wicked gems.

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