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- Night Dolls With Hairspray by James Ferraro
9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 09 December 2010
Damn! This is a fun record. James Ferraro returns with probably his most consistent and ridiculous LP to date: 'Night Dolls With Hairspray'. This one sees our man Ferraro exploring the inner sanctum of the teenage psyche with a collection of tracks that sound like all the crazy music they used to use to accompany MTV ads and animations in the 1980s. Ferraro seems to have remodeled himself as some kind of mutant child pop superstar with a penchant for glam rock and wild guitar solos. He also surprises by singing on pretty much everything here, his voice sounding like some crazy helium induced kid/girl/mutant. The music is not dissimilar from the new tracks from Sam Meringue's Outer Limits recordings but Ferraro goes a step further to solidify his obscure vision of teen power pop dreams. Peavey metal guitars are everywhere, the drum machine beats are encrusted with video tape crud and the way the tracks are interspersed makes the finished product sound like an all-night pirate radio party. The references here are too vast and bewildering to comprehend! It's like a LSD enhanced nightmare vision of everything that was cool about being a kid growing up in the 80s. Highlights include teen vs. teacher bondage fantasy 'Leather High School', shlock horror worshipping 'Movie Monster' and insanely catchy glam stomper 'Runaway'. I don't know if anyone else is picking up on this but 'Night Dolls With Hairspray' sounds very much like a continuation of paperRAD's video mixtapes in the sense that it pilfers from all arenas of popular youth culture (TV, movies, advertisements, radio, cartoons, etc) and re-imagines these half remembered images and sounds into something fresh and fun to observe. Totally insane stuff and probably James Ferraro's most consistent vision to date. I could on but I've gotta go home... I feel really sick.
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