The age of the indie phenomenon is upon us now more than ever. With the underground scene slowly making its way onto the iPhones and Spotify playlists of high school kids and college students alike, underground music is digging its way out of the tunnel whether it wants to or not.
Venues are embracing this under appreciated scene, and labels are scrounging to get a piece of the pie they tragically missed when it was originally served. Indie bands are also becoming aware of the trend.
This Is American Music label mates, The District Attorneys and Tedo Stone, have formed the self-titled “indie supergroup” Party Dolls. These band mates collaborate to form a bonafide record of catchy tunes, slow rolled love songs, and a sweet southern mix just in time for Valentines day.
However, it’s all fun and games until it’s time to step up to the plate.
Party Dolls’s debut LP, “Love Wars Baby,” stumbles out of the gate on its first opening tracks. The opener, which is the title track, greets the listener with off pitch vocals and basic melodies that give the first impression of an off-putting record. The singers undisciplined vocals take away from the song. The potential is so obviously there, yet neglected.
“Indigo,” is also another low point on the record. The opening riff of the track gives it promise, but the song drones on and for some bizarre reason, a wall of dissonance is placed in the middle of the track that misdirects the rest of the song.
However, the latter half of this album is the band’s saving grace.
The album kicks it into high gear with the single off the record, “Vampire.” The simplistic, yet hum along guitar mixed with original lyrics creates the sound Party Dolls needs to chase.
The next track, “Sides,” is where the band starts to wake up. This track breathes life into the record. Up to this point, “Love Wars Baby” was sluggish and filled with slow paced love songs, but the sixth track puts a bit of spark back into the LP.
Finally, the tracks “A Firecracker” and “You Let Me Know” tie the record together. Armed with violin, guitar, and all the reverb you could ever desire, Party Dolls takes a swipe at our heartstrings with a beautiful ballad “A Firecracker,” making this legato soliloquy into a genuine firecracker. “You Let Me Know” on the other hand, is where the vocalist finds his maturity. I may of spoke ill of him earlier in this review, but he is at his absolute best on this track.
Bottom Line: The Party Dolls preceded their first impressions, but they still have a long way to go. The first part of this record is frustrating, but the band makes up for it during the second half. Being only a debut LP, The Party Dolls still has some work to do to truly find their sound. They should just remember, that their “supergroup” should be something brand new, and not a lovechild of the two bands coming together.
Favorite Track: You Let Me Know