"How To Draw Fire" (Tee Pee Records; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The first thing you need to know about Painted Doll is that the band was founded by Chris Reifert (of Autopsy fame) and comic/musician/author Dave Hill (Cobra Verde/Witch Taint).

That's also the last thing you need to know about Painted Doll.

The story goes that Reifert and Hill met at a live performance by Goblin, the legendary Italian horror rock band. There, began a discussion about the kind of music they loved to listen to, which, unsurprisingly, wasn't only death metal. Cutting to the chase, Reifert and Hill wound up forming Painted Doll, a band with a sound of '60s/70s rock'n'roll that sounds like nothing like Autopsy or Witch Taint. On their Facebook page, the band calls it "psych/garage/stoner/power pop."

"How to Draw Fire" is a collection of sturdy rockers with raunchy guitars, jaunty melodies and amazing musicianship. You could say that some of the tracks here are hard rock, but there isn't a sign of heavy metal. Instead, most of the tunes are smooth but edgy rockers with a retro punch. I'm trying to think of a band they compare to and the closest I can come is Dire Straits, but that's not exactly right, either. I will say this: It's virtually impossible to listen to this record once-through without immediately wanting to hear it again.

My favorite tracks are probably "Blue Postcards," with its blistering guitar solo; the bouncy "Midnight Morning" and the Ramones-infused "Dollhouse Rock."

So "How to Draw Fire" isn't Autopsy or Witch Taint or anything even close to that. Instead, it's a collection of retro-sounding tunes with loud guitars and rowdy rock'n'roll. I mean, seriously, how can you not like that?

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.