With 5 EPs and an extensive touring history both in and out of SA under their belt, The Medicine Dolls’ first full-length offering is an ostentatious ode to the weathered punks and upstart rebels. Formed by frontman Greg Allan and bassist Bex Nicholas in 2016, the Dolls strike a haunting image with their punkabilly sensibilities.
A staggered, toeing of the line between grit and glam, Filth and Wisdom opens with the crashing waves of Funeral Surf before ripping into bold synth tones on Danger! Danger! Disco! highlighting the band’s foray into the merging of punk sounds and adding a creepy yet catchy bounce into the record. The clear elements of surf-rock throughout the album soak the band’s sound in groovy yet jagged basslines crisscrossing the raunchy guitar-work.
Consisting of a medley of tracks and covers from their previous EPs and recent lockdown livestreams Filth and Wisdom sees The Medicine Dolls hone their innate insanity, perfecting their chaos and instilling their listeners with a sense of erratic energy – the likes of which you will only find on the dirtiest of dancefloors.
Check out The Medicine Dolls cover of Rock Lobster by the B52s.
An erratically charged and twisted cover of Talking Head’s Psycho Killer draws the LP towards its close with a jet-fuelled intensity likely to cause jittery and meandering movements. This cover, in particular, highlights the band’s Glamour-punk sound and experimental influences. Crazy cackles and caws give way to an urgent and near-strangled chorus with accompanying French verses from Bex. The exuberant and flashy closing track Kiss Kiss Kill Me melds fast-paced punk riffs with a drawn-out and eerie refrain, eliciting aspects of horror and shock-rock as the last tendrils of cigarette smoke dwindle and disappear in the flickering light.
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