Album: New York Dolls, Dancing Backward in High Heels (Blast)

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The Independent Culture

There was a certain louche dignity to the Dolls' 2004, but this sorry affair, knocked together in a Newcastle studio with David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain joined by Blondie guitarist Frank Infante, a pick-up rhythm section and backing singers they apparently met in the pub, is another matter.

It lacks both unity and quality: "Funky But Chic" and "Round and Round She Goes" are throwaway glosses on Motown and Iggy grooves respectively, and "End of the Summer" a woeful cod-reggae exercise, while the tedious pro-New York bragging on "I'm So Fabulous" is all the more pathetic for being so far from home. The only decent track is the brooding "Kids Like You", which opens with the depressing truism "It's a big old existential world" and gets grimmer from there, Johansen supported by storefront-church organ, sluggish drums and enervated slide guitar.