Barb Wire Dolls - 'Rub My Mind'

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Barb Wire Dolls - 'Rub My Mind'

They will probably become something "pretty interesting" given time, but they ain't there yet.

Barb Wire Dolls fall between two equally mass-produced stools, desperate to keep their Punk attack but equally keen to show their musical progression. Seen last year in Liverpool in front of a somewhat scant crowd of Rockers and scenesters, they gave us exactly what we wanted; the heads-down riffing and the strangely sexual, combative fronting bubble-gum of Isis Queen; it was a rush which eventually took us nowhere.

'Rub My Mind' is a little different. It's produced at Rancho De La Luna with Jay Baumgardner (John Fogerty, Bush and others) and obviously has had money thrown at it. Although the politically-charged 'Back In The U.S.S.A' tries to piss on all of that moolah first off, follower 'If I Fall' kidnaps a 'London Calling' line, opens up to a little commerciality and even tries a Reggae pattern – it shows where they are going but still reveals little purpose. 'Hole Of Isolation' is sadly exactly what the title leads you to expect, Goth Indie of a garden variety, and 'Where The Mountains Drink The Wine' regretfully doesn't live up to its title – instead we find more usual Indie.

Yet... some of the stuff here shows a little more interest and new colours. Not 'We Are Champions' though, which just uses their bratty experience to win us over, but the elastic riffs and narrative of 'Contract' and the smudgier, gentle 'Fade Away' show promise. Go home track 'Waiting To Be Lost' is even a bit Cranberries, for goodness sake, but manages to pick up the pieces in its seven minutes by settling on a bit of Fleetwood Mac; they pull a mangy rabbit from a crushed topper!

Barb Wire Dolls are going somewhere, they have the intention and balls to investigate that in front of us, and that's what makes 'Rub My Mind' such a frustrating listen. They will probably become something "pretty interesting" given time, but they ain't there yet. Aye, that's the Rub...

Steve Swift

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