30 Jan 2022

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Venom Dolls - Venom Dolls - EP Review: Venom Dolls

08 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Venom Dolls are an all-female indie punk trio who formed at the end of last year, and comprise lead guitarist Carawai Gao, drummer Summah Auvae, and vocalist/bassist Jessica Frank. From looking at their photos I can see they have played Dead Witch, so I am going to have to pay closer attention to the gig listings as I have been to that venue a lot this past year, but somehow have missed these guys. From their attitude and imagery, I expected them to be a brash and over the top punk outfit who are right in your face, and while that is more the case for A.L.A.B., that is actually the fourth number of their five-track 17-minute-long EP.  When their debut kicked off with Don’t Wanna Be, I had to do a doubletake as this is not what I expected at all. This was sweet, wonderful vocals, gently strummed electric, and even when they jumped into the song properly, there was still a huge amount of melody in what they are doing.

While this is melodic punk, it has much more in common with the NZ and UK scene that it does the modern American, as while there is polish, it somehow feels more real and genuine. I am sure there is more grit and fire in their live performances, and I note they thank Melanie for assistance in some of the recordings and I can only imagine the two of them playing together, as that would surely be a great night. There is a swagger in this, a confidence in songs such as No One Likes Mary Sue, which shows just how much work they have put in, given that they have been together for less than a year. The drums are rock solid at the back, the bass is tied in, there is some nice stuff happening on the guitar, and Jessica can be sweetness and light or provide a real edge, but always incredibly melodic and tuneful, which is sometimes used to provide a great contrast to what is happening musically underneath.    

There is also a great amount of variety within the five songs, and it is not unusual for them to have different sections within them, while the guitar solo in Woeman’s Lullaby is wonderful in its simplicity and the way it takes the song in a very different direction. There is a great deal of contrast in what they do, which allows them to build dynamics and have plenty of light and shade. Overall, this is a very promising start indeed, and I am really looking forward to hearing more. Solid, tight, and great fun.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Venom Dolls

Venom Dolls are a 3 piece all-female indie punk band formed at the end of 2020. Featuring a no-fucks-given attitude and a killer sound, they are shaking up the Tamaki Makaurau underground scene. The outfit consists of lead guitarist Carawai Gao, Summah the drummer Auvae, and vocalist/bassist Jessica Frank.

With a freshly released EP and host of experience performing at local venues, their fast paced, highly relatable tunes are sure to get you dancing/moshing/accidentally injuring your neighbour.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Venom Dolls


The Venom Dolls
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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