The Medicine Dolls is a new trio whose first offering, the “Loose Change” EP, combines garage and post punk with an instantly recognizable vocal approach. Greg Allan sings with a throaty off-British accent accompanied by the occasional chirping in from a bassist Arabella. He sounds somewhere between drugged up and choked up, a fitting combination considering the fact that “Loose Change” focuses primarily on lost love.
The drumming courtesy of Anro Femurs adds a welcome extra dimension to the EP. Aside from being energetic he showcases a wider range of style than most, easily surpassing the bare rhythmic minimum. Just in opener ‘She Tastes Like Cocaine ‘ he incorporates surf, garage, punk-inspired tom rhythms and a halftime breakdown.
‘Girls and Poison’ builds on a chord sequence that starts sombre and ends upbeat. The ambiguity paired with several repetitions hammers the chorus into your brain. The main lyric, “Girls and Poison/Kissing on the dance floor/Lines in the bathroom/ She wants to fall in love” is one that you will undoubtedly be singing for days afterwards.
The third and final track ‘Sex and Religion’ sets out to tell a long story and it’s good to hear a band take its time with a narrative rather than squeezing it into a smaller and perhaps more radio friendly package. Clocking in at over five minutes, it takes us through the highs and lows of unfolding heartbreak. It’s an instant classic garage ballad.
With “Loose Change” The Medicine Dolls manage to carve out a promising identity for themselves in a highly saturated garage market thanks to the sharp lyricism, exploratory drumming and unique vocal style.
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Listen to “Loose Change” below.