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Grand Band Slam 2012: BEST ROCK

MusicSuicide

Best Rock: the Suicide Dolls

The Suicide Dolls' muscular, propulsive sound calls to mind the burly, post-punk-rooted underground rock of the '90s more than it does most of the indie buzz bands of the past decade or so, and bassist/vocalist Michelle Montavon acknowledges that. "There's not a lot of us left," she says of their breed. And yet, there's a lot in their music for diverse crowds to latch onto — the push-and pull between her singing and Brian Albano's declamatory vocals, Albano's use of rich guitar tones and squalls of noise, a pop sensibility behind the arc of their songs, a bit of menace and an approachable form. "We're not using the major notes," Montavon says. "We're a really emotional band." And yet, she says of the Suicides' audiences and fellow musicians, "we're always warmly embraced. Some of the punk bands like us and some of the metal bands, the shoegaze bands." They recently opened for hardcore punk band Ceremony and new wave vets the Fixx three days apart — "and it worked!," she says. Longtime road warriors, the Suicide Dolls are currently playing around four shows per month supporting their recent album, Prayers in Parking Lots, says Montavon, "and most of them are out of town" (they're based in New London). In October, they're releasing a single containing their cover of the Circle Jerks' "When the Shit Hits the Fan," which they recorded for a new tribute to the Repo Man soundtrack, and Montavon says the band is entering a "writing frenzy," with new songs sounding "a little softer and a little harder."

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