Gary Miller reviews the latest DOLL TEST album!!!
THE DOLL TEST - MOSQUE ALARM CLOCK
Review by Gary Miller
When Scott Sutherland was approached by the Devil at the crossroads, he was met with a challenge. The horned one threw down a songwriting gauntlet -- whoever wrote the
better pop song would be victorious. A win for the Devil meant getting Scott's soul for all eternity. For Scott, the reward was to be granted an encyclopedic knowledge of rock and roll's historic eras.
Given what I'm hearing on MOSQUE ALARM CLOCK, the new album by Scott's band the Doll Test, there's no question who won the battle. After listening to this record repeatedly, it is clear that Scott is a walking "rockumentary" with classic songs coursing through his veins. What you get on the new album is that well-travelled history of rock songwriting fed to you through Scott's stilted and slanted (and possibly drug influenced) personal perspective.
On the surface, this is a solid modern power-pop album that is both melodic and toe-tap inducing. But, as you dig deeper through repeated listening, the record also reveals itself as laced with psychedelia, folk and garage rock overtones. The Mama and the Papas, the Raspberries, Bob Dylan, the Zombies and the Kinks all pop into my mind as I listen. But, there is a coherence in place that relies on
Scott's vocals and the bouncy bass work of Boyd Remillard from track to track.
This is one of those albums that kind of gets under your skin and sticks with you. I find myself singing random parts of the songs, even when I haven't listened to the record in several days. I'm beginning to think that pehaps mind control was part of the deal with the Devil, as well.
Gary is a musician, blogger and powerpop fan who lives in Durham, North Carolina. He lived previously in Seattle, where he started and ran the Seattle Powerpop Blog and played bass in both the Scheme and Shake Some Action!, the latter of which now exists as a bi-coastal recording project.