Painted Doll – “Painted Doll” (Tee Pee Records)
There have been some musical collaborations in rock history but this one must be one of the most unthinkable and unique – try American comedian, radio host, writer, musician and actor Dave Hill and Autopsy’s death metal godfather Chris Reifert on a late 60s / early 70s psychedelic rock trip? I mean, WTF but it sounds like a bad trip – a real bad trip!! Well, there’s clearly more to Reifert than the more commonly associated foulness and guts that has made Autopsy such a sensation (like being an entertainment director on ‘Watership Down’!) and after getting hammered at a Goblin concert in Texas with Hill, the two decided to put together this project that takes its inspiration from psych rock bands but also the power pop era of those times. It’s a mightily bold move and amazingly the dynamic duo pull it off masterfully. Opting sensibly not to go for the drugged out approach, Painted Doll is about bands like The Kinks, The Easybeats, 13th Floor Elevators and of course, The Yardbirds that featured a more guitar driven approach with heaps of catchy melodies that Hill and Reifert have masterfully reproduced in all its croonish glory. Complete with authentic vibrato guitars shared by the duo and flower power vocals from Hill, with the drums handled by Reifert, the 11 songs here not only cover the psych rock spectrum but are incredibly catchy – so Painted Doll is clearly no joke! From the karmic ecstasy of ‘Hidden Hand’ the love of the Haight comes across in its tantric beats, trippy guitar and mellow harmonies while the slick flowing wang guitar on ‘Dressing Room’ heralds the deep n catchy power melody, although its the wild guitar dueling between Hill and Reifert that really makes this track stick in the mind. Bringing in the sunshine is ‘She Talks To Mirrors’ with its gentle guitars and soothing vocals although my personal favorite had to be ‘Stairwell’ with its fast, catchy beat and far out guitars together producing a groove-tastic sound in this all around surrealistic splendor. An amazing achievement by all accounts, not to mention that I shall never be able to see Chris Reifert quite in the same light ever again ha ha!