Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Dolly Rocker Movement

Our Days Mind The Tyme

Review by Bruce Stringer

Although very little has been heard of them in their native country, Dolly Rocker Movement have obviously got the right stuff with Danish label Bad Afro Records picking them up for their 3rd outing, Our Days Mind The Tyme. The album is cool: it smacks of West Coast folk, sweeping Mancini-esque western themes and a large dose of the psychedelics fitting Hawkwind or Monster Magnet. At times heavy, but mostly centered on acoustic guitar and voice, the backing and arrangements make this a real standout for any serious fan of psychedelic music or the art of late ‘60s burgeoning prog rock scene.

Over the course of what I would describe as a most pleasurable listening experience, the folkiness of DRM is evident, although they manage to take the listener on a journey further removed from traditional folk of the last 1960s and early 1970s. Remember: it did appear that Dave Brock’s early intention for Hawkwind was to be a psychedelic folk band, so it comes as no surprise that the Dollys have taken that idea further on in time and space.

The CD artwork contains all of the strangeness that psychedelic artwork should aim for and more. These guys seem to be single-handedly bringing the album back to life. With songs that scream for single attention alongside the more atmospheric and psychedelic numbers, they have managed to balance pop sensitivities with the type of voodoo that makes music magic! If you like Bob Calvert-era Hawkwind, fuzz guitar riffs, the unmistakable (yet loveable) nuisance of tone generators, angelic female voices or the gentle balladry of acoustic folk then this is a CD that should be on your scopes.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Only One
Sitting somewhere between the mid-60s psychedelia of Pink Floyd and the solo works of Hawkwind’s poet-of-sorts, Robert Calvert, this opener captures the mood of a time long since relegated to the distant echoes of a past now no more. With tone generator effects and sustained theremin-like signal generator notes swirling about in stereophonic flight, the arrangement of synthesizers and fuzz tone guitars make this a visual aid for the inner mind. The song focuses on the simplicity of building throughout repetition and is a great little opener. 
Sold For Sinners
Continuing with the “campy” Syd Barret-era organ work, “Sold For Sinners” sounds like a lost relic of the late 60s surf beat scene. There is even some resemblance to Iron Butterfly, depending on how it hits you. The genuine desire of Dolly Rocker Movement to re-capture the swinging 60s is successfully produced with big acoustic guitars, a great live sounding drum kit and Calvert-esque backing vocals. Actually, Daniel Poulter’s voice captures a quality I’ve not heard in some time. The song is engaging and one for the head-nod crew.
A Sound For Two
Reminiscent of the mid-70s work of Hawkwind (complete with Simon House style violin lines), “A Sound For Two” has a very folky influence in a vein somewhere between the Waterboys and early Clannad. The arrangement is a reminder of the mighty Hawks – except for the sweeping orchestral themes, which would quite possibly have been employed by the Sonic Assassins had the technology and budget been available to them. The production feels big although the vocals are sat right up in the mix to give it a more personal touch. The theme played on a light bell is fitting and somewhat cute. 
Coffin Love
Now, continuing with a tip of the hat to the spaghetti western work of Henry Mancini, Dolly Rocker Movement roll along with a ballad highlighted by the female vocal talents of Jules Farrari Gills as she performs a duet with band leader Poulter. In many ways, “Coffin Love” is a continuation of the ideas put down on “…Sinners” but has a slower, broader feel. It’s impressive that the conceptual nature of the music keeps the momentum moving on quite nicely. This is a great number and should deliver the goods as their second single off this excellent album.
My Heavenly Way
Now we are off to a rockier number filled with fuzz guitars and electronic synthesis to blow your mind; as you stomp your feet to the cool of the hand clapping and mantric Calvert-esque poetry. The spacey effects kick in and it’s psychedelic heaven. There’s even a brief instrumental break with tone generator noises and upbeat tambourine hits to give it that extra cool 1960s rhythmic style. These guys could very well be the love children of Hawkwind and Jefferson Airplane… Well, maybe not, but it won’t take long before these guys get you nodding your head in time.
Borne With Gills
Another homage to the Clint Eastwood western, this little pumping number roars along with a Bolero-like rhythm. The military snare work drives along while a vocal and bell theme acts as a surrogate chorus, “La-la-la, la-la-la-la…” The introduction is filled with backwards instruments, weird synthesizer flurries and tremolo vocal messages. As one might expect, the Bolero rhythm might bring back memories of William Tell or the Lone Ranger. But, no fear, it works like a charm and includes all of the spacious stuff and a big violin theme.
Enjoy A Paranoia
With acoustic guitars and keyboards introducing the moody tension, the group treads towards early Hawkwind territory. The arrangement is quite solid and the magic seems to be the contrasting characteristics of the big acoustic guitars for chordal work and keyboards playing the theme melodies. There is even a great guitar riff that brings much of the song together with the cool, angelic vocals lifting the feeling of heaviness of the slower tempo. With echoes of Mancini here, this is yet another impressive track from the Movement.
Memory Layne
As the name insinuates, this seems to be a reference to The Pink Floyd’s early single “Arnold Layne”, albeit mostly in keyboard sound and its chromatic shift in chord progression. To other ears this might actually sound more like a lighter moment from Monster Magnet or Hawkwind. Either way, the listener wins as it’s got what Miles Davis might refer to as “Cool”… But there are no jazz sounds here! The song ends with a whammy guitar chord representing the psychedelic country influence that has surfaced again and again on this creatively inspired CD. There is definitely potential for radio airplay with “Memory Layne”.
Our Brave New World
On “...Brave New World” the sitar-like guitar playing that moulds the riff work is utilized with professional mastery – never overdoing it – adding a kind of Beatles flavor to the mix. The pseudo-religious lyrics are well delivered and the drum / percussion arrangement is full and the product of a brilliant instrumental mix. The harder edge of the solo guitar signals an end to the song, which is somewhat of a pity as this could have been extended much longer.  
The Ecstasy Once Told
Like a reprise of the old frontier western theme, “The Ecstasy Once Told” continues in conceptual mood and delivers some truly haunting moments from Jules Farrari Gills as she soars above the band. The string accompaniment is, at times, haunting and balances a line between the acoustic rock and weird synthesis that this song delivers, albeit in subtle ways. The female voice is excellent and layers the often-quirky male one with a blanket of reverberation. The epic feel of the track makes it seem a lot shorter than the 5:00 running time, which, I suppose, would be one indication of a great song on a great album.

 

 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2021 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com