Album: New York Dolls, Cause I Sez So (Atco)

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The Independent Culture

Despite an attrition rate that has seen the band's founding members reduced to just singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, the New York Dolls are on pretty good form here, with both snarling guitars and snotty attitude in full effect on the opening title-track.

This may be substantially due to their hooking up again with Todd Rundgren, who captured the band's brattish swank perfectly on their 1973 debut. Elsewhere, the spiky cacophony of "Exorcism Of Despair" recalls the bite of "Personality Crisis", and lines like "You ain't even got no class/I'm gonna kick your ass" shows their grip on surly delinquency is still there. From a band acknowledged as godfathers of punk, their respect for a range of rock styles so disdained by punk is surprising. "My World" has the melodramatic tone of Springsteen and the bluesy R&B funk of "Nobody Got No Bizness" recalls the J Geils Band. The blues influence persists through the "Smokestack Lightnin'" format of "This Is Ridiculous", while "Lonely So Long" profits from the twang of a Sixties guitar motif. Todd alone knows what's going on in "Temptation To Exist", with its whistling and cod-Latino drum rolls. Whatever it is, it's far better than we had any right to expect.

Download this: "Cause I Sez So", "Nobody Got No Bizness", "Exorcism Of Despair", "Lonely So Long", "This Is Ridiculous"