One Eyed Doll: Monster review

\"Monster\"Ever since the band’s conception in 2007 Austin, Tex. alternative rockers One-Eyed Doll have been on the fast track to super stardom, amassing an impressive list of accolades along the way, including a staggering 16 top ten Austin Music Awards, being listed in Revolver magazine’s Hottest Chicks In Metal issue and making the list of the top 20 most extraordinary female guitarists by Guitar Player magazine. Shockingly, the massive wall of sound they create is accomplished by just two people- guitarist/vocalist Kimberly Freeman and drummer/producer Jason Rufus Sewell (aka JR). Kimberly Freeman is a one woman tour de force and a maelstrom of musicality and ability with a unique voice that is unequivocally her own.  She is the equivalent of a punk rock baby doll or a deranged Alice in Wonderland whose music grabs you by the ears and drags you kicking and screaming down the rabbit hole. Their musical style is a vast cornucopia of virtually every known genre, ranging from beautiful acoustic melodies to an all-out metal onslaught, often within the same song. The lyrics contained within are a prime example of Freeman’s dark and playful, yet diabolically demented sense of humor. The band’s newest offering, Monster, is brimming with lush tapestries of rhythmic syncopation and twisted brilliance. The L7 riffs and quirky lyrics like “I’ll hack you up and bury you in my yard, why does making friends have to be so hard,” of opener “Be My Friend” grabs you right out of the gate and makes it impossible to not sing along to. “Brief Candle” and “UFO,” are straight up rock n roll, loaded with sweltering riffs and big radio friendly choruses, in the vein of Lullacry or The Gathering. “Bulimia,” melds Nirvana with Flyleaf while “Roses” sounds like Megadeth playing the song “Black Sabbath.” The song builds to an epic crescendo, that features a high note that could have been lifted right from “Phantom of the Opera.” “Plumes of Death” would be right at home on any of the Devin Townsend Project albums all the way down to the Annake Van Giensbergen vocal delivery. “Fight,” has Freeman asking “Am I Crazy, Am I Deranged” and features a slow building metallic groove and eclectic time signature changes similar to Butcher Babies or The Great Kat. “Pretty Song” is a rare moment of vulnerability reminiscent of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” that really showcases Freeman’s vocal prowess and maturity. While “PAO!” falls somewhere between the Donnas and Kittie and is sung entirely in Mandarin. Title track “Monster” is a sprawling eight minute epic that begins with a sultry Latin swagger that would have fit right in on the “From Dusk Till Dawn” soundtrack and transitions into a brutal hardcore throwdown. “Rumblings of The Ungodly” is a tender lullaby akin to Alanis Morrisette that leads to their rousing progressive/electronica/industrial rendition of “I Am a Viking” and is a million miles away from the Ynigwie Malmsteen original. Here’s the bottom line- If you like The Pixies, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Hole or Marilyn Manson, then you simply must give this innovative band a listen. Besides, it is all but impossible not to fall in love with Kimberly Freeman. Rating: 9 out of 10. -Eric Hunker