Division of Laura Lee
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: there are just too many awesome bands in the world, and that I can’t hear them all makes me want to cry. I had never heard of Division of Laura Lee (DOLL), but Lovitt put 97-99 out, so I knew it had to have some semblance of merit. Needless to say, I was completely blown away by this collection of 7″ tracks and early work.
These guys often get mentioned in the same breath as other Swedish acts like International Noise Conspiracy and the Hives. But the Hives blow, and I always thought that the Refused were much better than International Noise Conspiracy. That being said, DOLL is the real deal, in the same way that the Refused were on their final album, The Shape of Punk to Come.
The majority of the material on 97-99 sounds like a tossed salad of mid-career Fugazi, with a dash of Drive Like Jehu’s weird guitar antics, the sassy vocals of Antioch Arrow, the mathematical drum sway of Unwound and the overall aggression of bands like At The Drive-In, VSS and Nation of Ulysses. Now, I enjoy all of those bands quite a bit, so I was almost crapping my pants the first time I listened to this record.
For fans of DOLL already “in the know,” I’ll give you the scoop on what comes together to make this compilation: the entire At The Royal Club album, a song from a 2002 compilation, their song from a 7″ split with Impel, their two songs from a 7″ split with Milemarker and three songs from a 7″ on Dolt Records. I guess if you already own most of that stuff, you have probably dubbed your own version of this album. If you haven’t, this CD is wonderful, and showcases a fabulous breath of aggressive post-punk from the late 1990s.
Lovitt Records: http://www.lovitt.com/