Devil Doll is one of those bands that simply defy you to categorise them. They skillfully blend everything from blues, rock, country, jazz and rockabilly and serve it up to provide exotic listening pleasures for your aural taste buds. Front woman Colleen Duffy is a potent mix of Dita von Teese and Julie London. All high heeled burlesque seduction combined with sultry honey-dripped vocals. Not so much a good girl gone bad, more a case of a bad girl gone badder!
With this band we are reminded in some ways of those psychological horror films that featured a possessed doll or ventriloquist's dummy just waiting for the chance to pounce on their unsuspecting victim. Not that we're implying that Devil Doll are in any way evil, despite what the name may suggest. It's just that if you turn your back on them, for even a moment, they will take the chance to creep up on you and hit you with the unexpected.
"The One That Got Away" that opens the album is a case in point. With a blend of sensual jazz interspersed with bursts of solid rock we get a sort of updated Vegas sound. A quick change, however, and we'd easily fit right in at the Grand Ole Opry with "Doreen"; a bouncy sing-a-long type of song that has just a bit too much country than is acceptable in respectable company. Fortunately here at Bluesbunny we don't keep respectable company. We tried it once. We didn't like it!
Continuing in the country vein is "Lord's Prayer", although this is one that will have the traditionalists running for cover. It is a song that is less old time spiritual and more a modern age profane plea to the deities above for a break and some good fortune. With "Queen of the Road" we move momentarily to a subdued blues based piece of rock. However the direction changes again as sensually sweet vocals; wonderfully subtle yet sharp bass and drums; swinging jazz guitar, and 'late night' saxophone solos all combine to treat us to an excellent version of "Fever".
When it comes to favourite tracks Bluesbunny is spoilt for choice. A strong contender is "The Curse", a song that is firmly rooted in rockabilly, and when she lets rip Colleen's performance is reminiscent of Wanda Jackson at her raucous best. Close on its heels is the much more intricate and modern pop-rock sound of "Man in Black", which somehow manages to slap you in the face with a suitably off-kilter swing style vocal break when you least expect it. The winner however, by the shortest of short heads, is "The Way You Do" with its thumping bass heartbeat and solid rocking soul.
Devil Doll is the sort of band that makes music worth listening to. If they were a toy they'd undoubtedly be your favourite. The one you'd play with the most. The one you'd take to bed with you. However, when you put the lights out, you may want to sleep with one eye open…just in case!!!
Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby.