The New York Dolls

Going to see the New York Dolls is an odd proposition. On one level, it's hard to deny the importance of a band so central to the legacy of rock and roll, and punk music in particular. Their genre and gender bending brand of heavy-hitting raunch rock is still vital, even if its shock appeal has waned with the years. On the other hand, you can't actually see the New York Dolls. The debauchery and hard living that fueled the Dolls' creative fire has also helped to snuff out all but two of the remaining members, so all you're getting these days is Syl Sylvain and David Johansen. While they might not match the Dolls' original swagger step for step, they do an amazing job of keeping the spirit alive, with a strong fuck-off vibe and plenty of sloppy riffs and concrete jungle menace. It may not be the same New York Dolls of Manhattan in the 1970s, but it's a fair bet they still do what they do better than anyone else.

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Nicholas L. Hall
Contact: Nicholas L. Hall