CD Review: The Suicide Dolls - Prayers In Parking Lots

CD Review by Adam Wujtewicz

Having been raised on a steady diet of classic rock and having forged my own musical identity with the grunge movement of the 90’s I have come to miss rock and roll.  I feel like I’ve been forgotten.  There is just something missing in a lot of bands today.  Perhaps it’s the fact that genres like “classic rock”, “grunge” and “alternative” don’t actually have anything to do with the sound of the music. They are all just flowery ways of saying ROCK.  In a day and age where bands have pigeonholed themselves into super specific genre’s, bands like The Suicide Dolls are now having to cope with being called rock bands. Prayer’s in Parking Lots revels in the fact that you can’t stick it in a box but never lowers it to being a “genre crossing” experiment.  The punk rock clang bass gives the songs speed and movement, the drums range from a hardcore thump to psychedelic cymbal wash and guitars soar over the rhythm section covering the whole thing in a blanket of buzz saws and dope smoke.  There is an unmistakable intensity and paranoia to the sound of this record.  Prayer’s in Parking Lots is a wild animal that has been backed into a corner which has forced it to lash out.  The guitars at the end of “Drive” go from a melodic single note melody to crushing chords on the verge of massive feedback that are only accented by the near constant crack of the snare drum.  The noise soaked bridge section of “Smash” builds to out of control only to recoil perfectly back into the verse readying to strike at you again.  The explosions of sound you hear on this album do not come from an artsy abstract place but from the hands of people that feel looked over and are trying to grab a hold of your attention at all costs, even if they have to be loud and mean.

Through all this the Suicide Dolls never alienate their audience.  The chorus’s are prevalent and hooky which always gives the listener an anchor when they feel like the song might leave them stranded.  There isn’t a single scream on the album either.  While the singing sometimes goes more towards talking or reciting and isn’t the most melodic part of a song the vocals wouldn’t be considered offensive.  These are things that keep Prayer’s in Parking Lots from being pigeonholed as a “noise rock” or “post hardcore” record.  It may not be pop sensitive in style or subject but it is a pop sensitive structure that they’re building from.

The Suicide Dolls draw from a lot of bands that people now take for granted; The Pixies, Joy Division and Sonic Youth are the first 3 that come to mind.  These bands that once saturated the hearts and minds of rockers everywhere are now going extinct.  Prayers in Parking Lots will force you to remember what it was that drew you to these bands.  Not because it sounds like them, but because it has the same quality you can’t quite put your finger on... because it’s something that can’t be summed up in a 2 word genre.

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