Knoxville News-Sentinel (5.22.98)


Chuck Campbell

"Frozen Charlotte," DollsHead (Refuge/MCA)

For nearly two decades, Siouxsie and the Banshees had no viable imitators. So it's surprising one would emerge now that the seminal British band has gone into retirement.

It's stranger still that the ersatz Siouxsie Sioux (who is redevoting herself to the act The Creatures) would be a 19-year-old from Southern California, but DollsHead lead singer Sierra Swan has the same growls, trills and flourishes.

Perhaps DollsHead didn't set out to mirror Siouxsie and the Banshees on "Frozen Charlotte," but the result is an impressive debut regardless. Swan and cohort Graham Edwards preside over a showy Gothic rehash, freshened up by late-'90s electronica and post-modern-rock guitars.

Driven by a flurry of adrenalized loops, DollsHead opens "Frozen Charlotte" with the predatory dance cut "It's Over, It's Under" (which was featured on "The Jackal" soundtrack). Later Swan sasses the taunting guitars of "No Karma, No Candy," lassos the wild momentum of "Hole in the World" with infectious countervocals and hitches into an entrancing chorus arch on the churning "Perishable."

The main drawback is material that's inconsistent -- some tracks are underdeveloped and the lyrics, though suitably enigmatic, dwell too much on relationships.

DollsHead will surely overcome its limitations in time.

Rating: 4

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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