BARB WIRE DOLLS
Fronted by growling, purring sex kitten Isis Queen, Greek trio Barb Wire Dolls resuscitate the exhilaration and abandon of 1970s punk. Forsaking their troubled homeland for the glitz of L.A.’s Sunset Strip, the Dolls have embraced a hail of hype. It’s not hard to see why. Anchored by cavernous drums and churning riffage, the group delivers solid if uninspired backing that recalls old-school second-string punk bands like The Lurkers. Whirling like a dervish, rolling on the floor and fellating the mic, Isis Queen is the show here, copping the low-register hard-assery, if not the poetry, of Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde. The lyrics revel in tease and sleaze, but it’s refreshing that unlike many of their puritan ’70s punk models, the Dolls embrace sexuality whole-heartedly. It is problematic, 30 years since The Adverts and X-Ray Spex, that a female-fronted band is still a novelty and a marketing hook in punk, but you can’t fault Barb Wire Dolls for taking their sex appeal and running with it. Like many latter-day punks, The Dolls forget that ’70s punk was a catch-all category, embracing reggae, free jazz and glam. If the Dolls could dip into the musical diversity of their forebears, they just might outstrip their hype.