This is the best album any of them (Matt Skiba, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker) have been a part of in 8+ years (ten for most of them). No disrespect to Tom DeLonge – no one’s claiming it’s better than Enema of the State. But it’s good; surprisingly good.
If you didn’t know about the Dolls’ place in history, style, and connection to punk, their self-titled debut could easily come across as classic rock ‘n roll. Which it is. All of the best punk bands have always been rooted in melody, however muddied and rolled through glass, and the New York Dolls were a perfect precursor to that – painting a rebellious sheen over a jagged box of rhythm.
It’s easy to listen to one of the less memorable songs on this album and think “Yeah, that’s pretty good” (as opposed to great). But when you think about the fact that this album came out years before The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones… so many of the key players in what would become “1977 punk” were at Dolls’ shows, and influenced to start said bands because of them. In that light, this album becomes even more impressive. Similar to an album like Raw Powerfor it’s place in history, it gets even better when you appreciate how groundbreaking it was.