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Toy Dolls (Punk): Our Last Album

Album Notes

Released in conjunction with the band's 25th anniversary, the Toy Dolls' 11th album masquerades as a career send-off, only to be revealed later during the outro as a joke. It's a stunt typical of the veteran British comic-punks, and between "Out Last Intro?" and "Our Last Outro?" are sandwiched ten more highly melodic, pun-filled nuggets in keeping with the band's tried-and-true formula. Led by longtime frontman and guitar ace Michael "Olga" Algar, the Dolls offer up goofy romps like "The Death of Barry the Roofer with Vertigo" and "I Gave My Heart to a Slag Called Sharon from Whitley Bay" with surprising zeal. Olga's inventive, near-metal guitar shredding and zany tenor voice remain the heart of the band's sound, and it's a bit shocking how vibrant they still sound given how predictable the Dolls' methodology has become. The obligatory cover this time is the Boomtown Rats' "She's So Modern," though they also take a kazoo-led crack at Europe's "The Final Countdown" on one of the bonus tracks. The offensive "Chenky Is a Puff" may reveal how little their writing style has progressed, but just because you know exactly what to expect from a Toy Dolls album doesn't make it any less fun. ~ Timothy Monger


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