Feb 2013 14

Dead When I Found Her - Rag Doll BluesDead When I Found Her
Category: Electro / Industrial
Album: Rag Doll Blues
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Dead When I Found Her’s Rag Doll Blues continues to strike the right balance between experimentation, strong songwriting, and impeccable production.


 

Portland’s Dead When I Found Her – the project of Michael Holloway – returns with an incredibly satisfying second LP that manages to evoke the best parts of ‘80s industrial and electronic music while remaining fresh and interesting; an impressive feat, indeed. The album is refreshing in its recognition of the fine (and sometimes seemingly lost) art of songwriting that isn’t all about stomping beats and vocals that are seemingly senselessly distorted. The production is clean, crisp, and very nearly without fault, which comes as no surprise if you’re familiar with Dead When I Found Her’s debut, Harm’s Way.

The tracks on Rag Doll Blues retain the excellent production and it merely serves to accentuate the overall disconnected and cold feeling of the album. If anything, this release brings more of a pop sensibility to the writing in the best way. The second track, “Better Days” successfully straddles the line between experimentation and accessibility – the chorus brings it all together. “Rain Machine” is swirling and aggressively evocative, and “Doll Parts” and “Doll Pieces” are two brilliant reflections on the capricious nature of childhood recollections. There have been plenty of comparisons to Skinny Puppy and Mind.in.a.Box, which aren’t undeserved, but tracks like “Lesser Light” and “Scissors” are reminiscent of Diorama with powerful, evocative lyrics and haunting melodies. Each song here gradually adds to the tapestry of storytelling and subtle shifts in tempo and beat.

Dead When I Found Her has received a great deal of positive attention, and all of it is well deserved. Some of the samples used here have been used quite often in the past, but it’s a transgression that is easy to forgive when you find these songs stuck in your head, like the sound track to a half remembered dream.
 
Track list:

  1. No More Nightmares
  2. Better Days
  3. New Age of Reason
  4. Rain Machine
  5. Doll Pieces
  6. Dry Bed
  7. Mirrors
  8. Panic Matter
  9. Doll Parts
  10. Lesser Light
  11. Scissors
  12. Stainless

 
Dead When I Found Her Website http://dwifh.com
Dead When I Found Her MySpace http://www.myspace.com/deadwhenifoundher
Dead When I Found Her Facebook https://www.facebook.com/deadwhenifoundher
Dead When I Found Her ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/deadwhenifoundher
Dead When I Found Her SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/deadwhenifoundher
Artoffact Records Website http://www.artoffact.com
Artoffact Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/artoffactrecords
Artoffact Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/artoffact
Artoffact Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/artoffact
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
Amazon CD (Limited Edition)
Amazon MP3
 
2012-10-09
 
Lola Babalon (LolaBabalon)

2 Comments

  1. chris says:

    I was surprised when this release wasn’t on ReGen’s Top 20 Albums of 2012 list. It was top 3 for me.

    But now that you’re getting around to reviewing it so late, it all makes sense.

    • Ilker Yücel says:

      Unfortunately, ReGen has a very limited all-volunteer staff (and alas, there’s always a lot of turnaround – people coming and going, so a lot of stuff simply gets delayed or ultimately discarded), and with so many items submitted for ReView, we don’t get to everything in as timely a fashion as I’d prefer. We do the best that we can, but when factoring in dayjobs, family obligations, personal projects and responsibilities, etc. there just isn’t enough time or personnel to get everything done as quickly as we’d like. There’s also the fact that while the staff votes on the top lists, not everyone has heard everything and not everyone has the same tastes. But again, we do the best that we can. =\

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