The Rocket Dolls – The Art of Disconnect21st April 2020
Hailing from Brighton, Nikki Smash heads the rebel trio of The Rocket Dolls; formed back in 2008, The Rocket Dolls have been plugging away, finding their voice and style which led them to 2010’s Pure Rawk award for Best New Band Award. Finally, in 2018, they released their debut album, DeaDHeaD; the critically acclaimed debut put the trio on the riffage trail of Hard Rock which has led them to tour the country extensively. Still under an independent label, The Rocket Dolls have now produced their second album The Art of Disconnect; an album which has been anticipated in the underground scene much like the debut. So let’s see what Nikki and co have in store for us in this saga.
The opening takes you a little by surprise with the piano intro to the self-titled ‘Art of Disconnect’ but then it kicks in with ferocity that has become a bit of a trademark aspect to the band. The impact riffs change the feel of the track giving it more punch. This particular aspect is something that keeps going through out the album; the chugging riffs give us catchy melodies and strong chorus notes that keep you wanting more and this is seen easily in ‘Enthusiasm and Fumes’. The big hitters just keep coming with the thumping ‘It Comes at a Price’ and then the epic ‘The Grip’ which shows off all the skills the trio can muster. The opening chugging, infectious riffs drips with quality and is easily one of the best tracks on the album. The lyrics are well constructed and the vocal mastery of Nikki Smash give the track just the right gruff and growl with clean vocals.
Where it becomes a little obvious is with the typically placed ballad ‘Grin and Bare it’ that has now become synonymous to pretty much all Hard Rock albums in the last decade. The structure is pretty generic yet the lyrics give it something a little different from the rest. This again is becoming a popular aspect to the usual love lost or love found ballad of yesteryear; this is more about dealing with anguish and having to put up with your own flaws and that your partner is holding you up. We then go into more of the same the impressive ‘Who I’ve Become’ which seems to follow suite from the previous track which is a very nice touch. It has touches of Grunge Rock layering over the track and when you consider the previous tracks you begin to realise the influences of the Grunge Rock era of Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots beautifully placed within with confines of the songs; a truly lovely touch indeed. The album just keep s brining the big hitters as ‘Slow Motion Ruin’ and ‘Blueprint for a Breakdown’ ramp up the octane levels with excellent lyrics and catchy chorus’s reminiscent of Hinder and Adelitas Way. It then goes into a more Weezerstyle with ‘If I Could Trade Me for a Day’ which oddly works and makes you smile regardless of the actual lyrical content. It all comes to a head with the sublime ‘Stubborn’, showing off their talents of mixing and sampling with orchestral overlays and gorgeous acoustic melodies. It’s a triumph and the perfect way to end the whole show.
The album is beautifully balanced, hitting hard with all the right riff notes and all the right signs of what you would expect from a Hard Rock sound. It has all the harmonies and infectious notes that make the tracks memorable and catchy; however what it seems to lack is originality, which in the day and age of so much abundance of such artists is very difficult to produce. This is a real shame because Nikki Smash has really got something here with his soaring vocals and groove laden riffs. The influences of Nirvana and Powerman 5000 can be heard but so can other bands within the music. This does not take away from the musicality of the album, on the contrary, the album still sits high in the echelons of what can be dubbed Hard Rock and that is something The Rocket Dolls should be very proud of.
1. The Art of Disconnect
2. Enthusiasm and Fumes
3. It Comes at a Price
4. The Grip
5. The Clear Light of Self Hatred
6. Grin and Bare It
7. Who I’ve Become
8. Habit Machine
9. Slow Motion Ruin
10. Blueprint for a Breakdown
11. If I Could Trade Me for a Day
12. Straight Jacket
Release Date: 1st May 2020
Record Label: Independent
For Fans of… Powerman 5000, Adelitas Way, Hinder