The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls

8 Ft. Records

Goth-rock and cabaret? They call it Brecht-ian punk cabaret, whatever that means. It’s what The Dresden Dolls are, although they make it a point to be uncategorized. On their self-titled debut, they manage to bring a gothic edge to the piano/cabaret sound that is not normally heard in any type of music, except select theater attractions.

Pianist/vocalist Amanda Palmer has the sarcasm and lyrical wit of P.J. Harvey or Fiona Apple, especially on “Gravity” (“If I could attack with a more sensible approach/obviously that’s what I’d be doing…right?!”) and “Good Day” (“You’d rather be a bitch than be an ordinary broken heart”). But it is the other half of the Dolls, Brian Viglione, who steals the show with very brief, subtly-placed solos. The best one is on “Coin-Operated Boy.” As Palmer sings, “I can even take him in the bath,” Viglione inserts a perfectly placed rubber duck squeak.

The Dresden Dolls excel in the unexpected. They go from head-bobbing kiss-offs (“Good Day,” “Bad Habit” and “Gravity”) to gender-questioning, full-throttle assaults (“Girl Anachronism” and “Coin-Operated Boy”). It’s hard to imagine that they are only a duo; their piano and drum sound is much grander than one would think.

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